For years Sir Mo, along with perennial tag team partner King Mabel, entertained millions as part of the WWE. Getting their start in the Carolinas and later moving to the USWA working for Jerry Lawler the duo quickly became one of the hottest tag teams in wrestling and caught the eye of WWE CEO Vince McMahon who brought them to New York and gave them a huge push that included a run with the WWE World Tag Team Championship.
After Mo finished up with the WWE he returned to Memphis and the USWA as well as other off-shoot promotions in the area and then it would seem Mo would fade into obscurity.
Though Sir Mo was little more than a memory to hardcore fans, Bobby Horne continued to be part of the business, starting his own promotion, running shows and helping up and coming stars realize their dream. What many do not know is that while Horne was helping others he was actually the one in need, suffering from kidney failure.
For over seven years Horne has battled with kidney disease that is now end stage renal failure and he undergoes dialysis three times a week as he awaits a kidney transplant.
Dialysis is a process that helps remove waste and excess water from the blood and takes at minimum four hours each time but the after effects can leave one feeling drained and depleted for hours after it is finished. Horne has to receive dialysis treatment three times a week and is often found resting the rest of the day when it is over. There are good days and bad days even with dialysis and the fluid build-up has an effect on more than just his kidneys, it also takes a toll mentally.
“My faith gets me through most days,” Horne said. “That and the fans who have always been there for me, they are a great comfort too.”
Doctors say Horne is a good candidate for a transplant and is on the list but that list is ever increasing and often by the time a suitable donor is found, it is too late. Horne is fortunate though because his step-daughter has offered to donate one of her kidneys and is willing to put off her college and career plans to help her step-father.
“I’m blessed in so many ways and what she is doing, she is an angel. God love her she is an angel.” Horne said.
Even though it would seem all is right with the world, a kidney from a willing and compatible donor and the fortitude to carry on even though the surgery is very risky for both he and his step-daughter, things are far from easy for the former WWE SuperStar.
Transplant surgery is one of the most expensive operations to perform and can exceed a million dollars depending on what organs are replaced and how much time is involved in the procedure. For Horne this surgery will cost upwards of $150,000 of which he must raise 20% or $30,000 before doctors will schedule the operation.
“The WWE has made money from my likeness for 20 years and will continue to do so after I am dead and gone. They donate millions from a corporate account to help people in the ghetto and they have spent hundreds of thousands on rehab for people. I asked them for help and they sent me a couple of small boxes of merchandise worth maybe a couple hundred dollars to auction off,” Horne lamented.
“Maybe I should turn into an alcoholic or a drug addict or get arrested for DUI since that seems to be the kind of people they (WWE) are quick to help,” he added. “I’ve never had a drug problem but I have been dealing with kidney failure for seven years and three on dialysis but they (WWE) are not willing to help anyone with legitimate medical issues.”
A benefit show that was scheduled in April to help raise funds to defray the costs for Horne had to be canceled. “I have to go to Charlotte for more tests, to make sure I am healthy enough for the surgery. I have to lose about 20 more pounds and come up with the money before they (doctors) will even consider it though,” Horne stated.
Out of sight out of mind seems to be a disease many veterans of the squared circle suffer from, they are all too often forgotten about once they are no longer on TV or not part of a national wrestling group. There are a number of former wrestlers who are dealing with lingering injuries and medical problems who have to suffer because they do not have the resources to seek the proper care and sometimes surgery. Although many believe some of the veterans “made tons of money” while they were in the spotlight that is not often the case since in the 80s and 90s wrestlers were responsible for their own transportation, lodging and food as well as trying to maintain a home and family.
There have been campaigns using platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to raise funds to help some of those in need get capital for much needed surgery including Scott Hall and Marty Janetty. Such a campaign is currently being considered for Horne and there are other benefit shows in the developmental stage but for now Horne remains optimistic and hopeful.
“I thank God every day he lets me see the sunshine.”