LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Like a WWE star taking down an opponent, teenager Michael Moore is wrestling his own challenges.
The Louisville 16-year-old suffers from a rare disorder that causes lesions and tumors across his body, but he didn't have to deal with it for a few minutes Thursday. Type 1 neurofibromatosis causes tumors and excruciating pain.
Michael spent the afternoon with WWE star Damien Sandow at Kosair Charities during the wrestler's visit.
"The courage you show Michael is unbelievable," Sandow said to Michael.
It was a distraction for the teen who had to take a break from school and barely leaves home.
"It feels like somebody is taking a hammer to the area when it's hurting," Michael said.
Moore's condition is not contagious but he faces that stigma every day. "We're trying to get the community to not look at him like he's a leper," Jack Moore said, Michael's father.
When Michael needs a break from reality, he tunes into WWE. "I don't think about the pain then," he said. Michael is prescribed strong narcotics to ease the pain but his father said it's never enough.
Shortly after an interview with WAVE 3 News, Michael was taken to a one-on-one visit with WWE's Damien Sandow where he signed an action figure toy and visited with Michael and his father.
"This was really a remarkable opportunity for Michael. He's been through so much and we really appreciate [Damien's] time and generosity," Jack Moore said.
Michael's diagnosis is not deadly, but there's a possibility it could worsen to paralysis.
Doctors hope Michael will improve in a few years when his pituitary glands stop causing his condition to worsen.