Santonastasso tells TooFab: "I think it would be an amazing opportunity to touch millions of people, like millions of people and change their mindset and change their outlook on life."
"First and foremost, what an amazing human being, right?," Santonastasso told TooFab. "Life is all about you know, success, whatever way you determine success. It's all about giving value to people and Ellen gives a mass amount of value to people from celebrities, to you know, everyone."
The bodybuilder said he's watched Ellen DeGeneres throughout his entire life has dreamed about getting an opportunity to collaborate with the 29-time Daytime Emmy winning host on his mission to change the world through tolerance, helping others and spreading love. He even wrote in his goal book that he would be in contact with her by October 2017.
"We need this light and positivity in the world, especially at the time we're going in now so to get on a huge outlet like 'Ellen' and just for people to be able to you know, see what I've done and interact with me on a personal basis and see me interact with Ellen and see that I'm not just a meathead and that I'm very intellectual, that I have my own speaking company, that I am a motivational keynote speaker, that there's a lot more going on than me just lifting weights, people are going to fall in love and that's the idea," he said. "People to fall in love with what I am doing and they really see how passionate I am about just helping people."
When asked what he would say to DeGeneres if given the chance, Santonastasso told TooFab: "Hey. How are you doing? Just honestly I'm grateful for the experience to use my outlet with Instagram and social media to be able to help people and make people smile, make people feel good on the inside and if I was ever in the position to basically collaborate with Ellen and be on her show, we can spread light. I mean, I think it would be an amazing opportunity to touch millions of people, like millions of people and change their mindset and change their outlook on life like that's exciting."
TooFab detailed Santonastasso's inspiring story in the first of our "TooFab GameChangers" series published earlier Wednesday. He spoke about his journey living with Hanhart syndrome and meeting his celebrity idol, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson this past weekend at a Vegas Gym.
"This was a crazy story," Santonastasso told TooFab Monday when asked about the encounter he documented on his Instagram page.
Santonastasso was working out at City Athletic Club, a high-profile Las Vegas gym that regularly hosts celebrities and bodybuilders, when The Rock's entrance started to create a buzz. But instead of approaching the action star, he played it cool and made sure his friends did, too.
"If he's really real and The Rock is the way he presents himself, we will not have to go up to this guy so just focus on the lift and let everyone else freak out," Santonastasso recalled saying.
The strategy paid off, and he ended up working out right next to the former WWE superstar, who is now the biggest movie star in Hollywood. Sure enough, a body guard approached Santonastasso to see if he would be interested in meeting The Rock in private. Turns out, The Rock knew exactly who Santonastasso was, thanks to his inspiring social media presence and pranks he posted on Twitter's now-defunct video platform Vine.
"It was an instant [connection,] like we both respected each other and what we did," he said. "And it was an amazing feeling, like just like The Rock coming up to you and saying, 'You're amazing.'"
Santonastasso's genetic disorder is extremely rare. It has only affected 12 people in the world at the time of his birth, eight of which have passed away. Doctors only gave him a 30 percent chance to live at the time, and with help from his parents encouraging him to fend for himself, he is now living life to the fullest.
"Growing up, I didn't really realize I was different until middle school and high school," he said. "But my parents always raised me and engraved in my head, 'Nick the world is not going to stop just because you're going to have this disability. You know, you're going to have to figure out how to do everything in this world Nick's way, so you're going to have to figure out how to adapt to it.' And that's one of the things that changed me into who I am today."