It all started with a dream. Ricky Mena found himself on top of the world, then hit rock bottom, that’s when his deceased grandmother came to him in a dream that would change his life completely.
It was a dream that would leave him to brightening the days of sick children.
Mena’s story started in 2008 when he purchased a cherry red 2008 Chrysler 300 sedan. And it was one good looking car! He was young making good money and treated himself to this luxury.
“I was young. I was making good money,” Mena told NBC Bay Area. “I bought the car for the image. I wanted to go out and be seen.”
Mena also had a promising rap career.
“In just a few years I put out nine albums,” Mena said.
A work injury, unfortunately, caused him to lose his job. After that, he spent some time in Los Angeles and realized that rap just wasn’t a good fit for him.
He soon found himself with $1,000, money from selling his car, left to his name staying in a spare room at a friends house.
He would give his friend personal training sessions in exchange room and board.
“I was like, ‘OK, who am I now?'” Mena recalls.
That’s when a family member gave him some direction. It was his grandmother who passed away a year earlier.
She appeared to him in a dream.
“She showed up in my dream, flipped on a reel to reel projector, an old-school movie projector which was totally her style,” Mena explains.
The projector showing a man dressed as Spider-Man handing out gifts to sick children at the hospital.
He asked her in the dream why she was showing him this.
She said, “Because that is you.” Mena was moved by the joy on the faces of the children in his dream and decided he would heed his grandmother’s call.
He researched where to find the best tailor-made Spider-Man suit. He also researched hospitals, homeless shelters and other places where he could greet children.
He spent his last $1,000 buying a custom-made Super-Man suit.
Since he got that costume he’s been volunteering every place he could find where children are down on their luck or need their spirits raised.
“I wish there was a superhero who walked into the room for me when I was a kid and said, ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be alright,'” Mena explains.
Mena started a nonprofit called Heart of Hero to continue his super work.
He hopes that one day his work will allow him to pay the bills but for now he’s focusing on being the best superhero he can be.
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He says it’s his life’s calling.
“Everything in my life was meant to groom me for this,” he says.
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