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This Former Pro Athlete Inspires Hope In Rare Cancer Battle, Launches Movement For Awareness

This Former Pro Athlete Inspires Hope In Rare Cancer Battle, Launches Movement For Awareness

Will Wise, a former professional basketball player, has embarked on a courageous journey as he battles a rare and incurable cancer. He uses social media platforms to empower others in similar situations, encouraging them not to allow cancer to dictate their lives.

According to the London Evening Standard, Wise, 30, was diagnosed with pheochromocytoma, a rare adrenal gland tumor, after vomiting blood on his way to work in central London on Nov. 28, 2022. The sudden illness was unexpected as Wise had not previously experienced any noticeable symptoms.

Additional tests confirmed that Wise’s cancer had spread to his thyroid gland as a result of the rare condition known as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2.

Wise, a Philadelphia native, now resides in Kensington, a historic neighborhood in west London, with his Australian fiancee, singer-songwriter Alex Hosking. Before his diagnosis, he pursued a professional basketball career in Europe and Australia, with his most recent team being the Eastern Mavericks in Australia.

“When the doctor gave us the news, the world just stopped. I paused, turned to Alex and made a joke. It felt surreal. I tried to just take it in,” Wise told the outlet.

He continued, “The tumour caused my body to effectively shut down as it was producing too much adrenaline. My adrenal levels were 50 times what they should be. The doctors had no idea how I was able to survive such a crisis.”

Wise has endured 14 months of treatment, which involved three surgeries to remove his left adrenal gland, thyroid, parathyroid, and 65 lymph nodes, along with a liver biopsy, per the Evening Standard.

He is currently awaiting the removal of his right adrenal gland and liver ablation. Moving forward, doctors will carefully assess the procedure’s impact on the affected areas and decide if chemotherapy is needed.

Since his diagnosis, Wise has documented his cancer journey through vlogs, which he shares online under the hashtag #Cancerbae. He’s garnered thousands of followers on both Instagram and TikTok, inspiring others who may be going through similar situations.

“I’ve always been a positive person so when this happened it was an opportunity for me to practice what I preach. For people like me with Stage Four it is not about surviving with cancer, it is about living with cancer. I want people to feel like they are not alone, and I’ve been feeling the support through trying to create that platform,” Wise told the Evening Standard.

He continued, “My cancer might be rare, but the disease isn’t as rare as it once was. My mission is to change what the word cancer looks like to people. I am 6ft 9 with tattoos and I look athletic. When you tell someone you have cancer they give you glossy ‘cancer eyes’. Those who have it know exactly what I’m talking about.”

“I want people to know you can live a good life with cancer. It doesn’t have to define you. I’d like to create a new, vibrant, colourful movement that is fresh and exciting, that takes the eerie stigma away,” the 30-year-old added.

Wise is leveraging his diagnosis to discover a new sense of purpose. He finds fulfillment in mentoring the next generation in basketball skills and serves as a coach for teenagers at a basketball club. He also supports Cancer Research UK’s campaign aimed at helping individuals live their lives while destigmatizing the illness.

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