Wish granted for Oneida High School exchange student battling rare cancer

He's the foreign exchange student everyone at Oneida High School seems to love.

His name -- Andreas Vogelsberger.

Although the Austria native says his friends just call him Andi.

"He really could carry on a conversation with anyone; he didn't care who you were,â?? said senior Jessie Rinaldo.

"He really tried to get to know every single one of us,â?? said Ashley Thomas, a 2011 graduate of Oneida High School.

Andi said coming to america has always been his dream.

But a few months before making his journey to the states, Andi was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after doctors discovered a tumor in his throat.

Doctors took care of it quickly -- and before Andi knew it, he was in Central New York.

"They just welcomed me so warmly and it was a great experience being there,â?? Andi said via Skype from his home in Austria. â??I made such great friends and we got really close.â??

But Andi's stay here at Oneida High School was cut short.

Six months into his studies, the cancer came back -- forcing Andi to head home to Austria for treatment.

"It was really sad because it just happened so fast for all of us,â?? said Rinaldo.

In between intense rounds of chemotherapy -- Andi turned to music, writing a song.

And through the Make a Wish Foundation in Austria, it became a single on i-Tunes and a music video.

To watch the full video, click



It's called The Angel.

Andi plays the piano and guitar while his older brother sings.

"I was hoping that when people, who have cancer, too, see my video and hear my song that it would be encouraging for them too,â?? Andi said. â??At the same time it's sort of a thank you note for all the people who have been showing their love and prayers for me.â??

"I cried when I first saw it,â?? said Rinaldo.

"I couldn't even think straight when I saw it; it was amazing,â?? said Patty Vaccaro, a secretary in the Guidance Office at Oneida High School. â??I give him so much credit for not giving up on anything and being strong,â??

Being strong is what Andi said he'll keep doing.

Another round of chemo is scheduled next week, but Andi said heâ??s determined to be back in Oneida for graduation in June.