“Leave behind the legacy worth of a Prime.” – Joe Fidducia, Owner of Optimus Prime
What started as a father’s big idea to help inspire his son has now become a life-changing experience for hundreds of children.
Former software applications trainer, Joe Fiduccia, from Eastern Pennsylvania, USA, is making his way through North America with Optimus Prime to help empower young children facing hardships in their lives. When Joe’s son was only 8 years old, he was sadly the subject of bullying at school. Moved by the motivational lessons of the Transformers movies, Joe wanted to encourage his son to always believe in himself. Despite never having driven a semi-truck in his life, Joe left his career in 2015 to partner with Hasbro to make the first and only full-scale replica truck of Optimus Prime from Transformers: Age of Extinction, which is the brave leader of the Autobots and a symbol of strength. After seeing just how much this incredible project made a difference for his son, Joe knew he wanted to help other kids just like him.
Watch Joe and Optimus Prime’s journey with Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada!
Now, Joe and Optimus Prime are touching the lives of many others, including some of our very own Starlight kids! For the first time in 3.5 years since the pandemic began, Joe and Optimus Prime took a special trip to Canada over the holidays to visit seriously ill children within Ontario, like 12-year-old Waseem, who sadly lives with cancer and a bowel disease. Heartbreakingly, on top of his already complicated health conditions, Waseem had also been having a hard time at school due to bullying. Luckily, Joe and Optimus Prime’s visit came at the perfect time to help cheer him up.
“I actually feel stronger!” Waseem said to his dad after Joe asked him to hold onto the AllSpark, the ancient artifact that gives the Transformers their energy. “I feel like I could carry two whole watermelons!”
Meanwhile, 12-year-old Nico and his family have not been able to enjoy much time together outside of their home for fear of his safety. Nico’s muscular dystrophy leaves him with weak muscles, having to take extra precautions when doing activities that might tire him out. As big fans of the Transformers franchise, he and his brothers were thrilled to receive a surprise house visit from Optimus Prime himself!
“I haven’t seen him this animated and happy in a while,” shared Nico’s mom, Magda.
To add to the excitement, Joe and Optimus Prime also joined Starlight Canada at a recent Herb’s Secret Santa event with Toys“R”Us Canada in Toronto. More than 300 sick kids and family members got to witness the amazing truck in person while learning how to find courage within themselves, just as Optimus Prime taught the Autobots.
A sincere and heartfelt thank you to Joe for your kindness, compassion, and dedication to making a difference in the lives of many – both young and old. You are a true inspiration to us all!
Join Joe and Starlight Canada in creating extraordinary moments like these for even more seriously ill children across the country. Donate now at give.starlightcanada.org to be part of the magic.