Patrick Wiese was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma cancer in late summer of 2013, and when he started chemotherapy in October of 2013, he knew the road to recovery would be a long one.
As a former 3-sport star at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse and the 2013 leader of Le Moyne baseball in five different categories, Wiese is an athlete...a true competitor. He's admitted to throwing video game controllers when he happened to lose, just another facet of his competitive nature.
So, naturally, he takes on chemotherapy in a similar way, with the same positive, competitive drive his Le Moyne teammates respected so much that they named him captain. But, cancer has been his toughest competitor yet, as even Wiese says some days can be difficult, forcing him to fight that much harder to get through.
One day, less than a full month into his treatments, Wiese was having a rough time. It was before Thanksgiving in November, and he still had a long road ahead of him. An older gentleman was walking around Crouse Hospital that day with balloons and flowers, bringing them from door to door. When the man stopped by Wiese's room, Wiese couldn't resist but ask the man, "What's going on?" The man responded by saying it was an anonymous donation given to the hospital for the patients there, and that every patient got one.
"That kind of lifted up my spirits," Wiese reflected. "It's pretty cool that someone out there is doing something like that, I kind of took that to heart, I not only want to donate money to cancer research, I want to do that as well."
At around the same time, Wiese's friend, teammate and classmate Nate Reynolds was working to raise awareness for Wiese's condition and general cancer research. Selling t-shirts, Reynolds raised more than $5000 for the cause, but wasn't sure where or how to donate money. Reynolds went to Wiese's mother, Kathy, first for help. They then decided putting together a foundation for cancer patients would be best way to go.
"We really just wanted to raise awareness for Pat initially," Reynolds said. "Everything just kind of took off, we said we could do this for the long run, and really make the a difference. Maybe Pat's career ended, but maybe down the line, some young kid could continue playing by the money we raised."
Already inspired from the small act of kindness in the hospital, Pat was on board, and turned his experience at the hospital into the Patrick Wiese Foundation. Its mission statement is: "Healthy Minds, Healthy Body, Healthy Souls".
Patrick's perspective of the smaller acts of kindness for patients and their families falls under "Healthy Minds".
"I want to like...at Christmastime give out some presents to children that are in the hospital, I know what it feels like to be in that situation, you need something every once in awhile to lift your spirits and everything," Wiese says.
"With Pat, you know there's got to be a lot of times where he's struggling, and you know he's just having a down day...we really want to find ways where we can uplift now just him, but also uplift other kids that are going through a similar thing," Reynolds added.
While continuing to raise money for cancer research ("Healthy Body") and help patients grow closer to God ("Healthy Soul"), Wiese says he wants the foundation to not be just a one-time event, but something he carries with him throughout the rest of his life as well.
The first Patrick Wiese Foundation event is the 1st Annual 5K Fun Run and Walk at Jamesville Beach park on May 4th. It's scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m., with registration starting at the main gate at 11:30 a.m. Proceeds will benefit the Patrick Wiese Foundation. They are also planning a golf tournament/auction in Fall of 2015. You can learn more about that event and more about the foundation itself at patrickwiesefoundation.org.
In between his treatments, Wiese has been able to attend Le Moyne baseball games both on the road and most recently at home at Dick Rockwell field this past weekend. He cannot participate on the field, but his knowledge and guidance in the dugout has been a lift for this young Le Moyne baseball team. Wiese realizes he's an inspiration now, not only for his teammates, but for everyone else fighting cancer as well.
"It's always going to be a part of me," Wiese says. "I'll obviously never forget this experience, I want to make the best out of it, I just want to be positive towards the situation, and that's the one way Nate and I decided that would work is the foundation and helping everyone out."