All for Andrew: Community Rallies around Man in Fight for His Life

More than 100 friends, family and members of the Oak Forest and Midlothian communities gathered to show their support for 21-year-old Andrew Weishar, who is battling colorectal cancer.

His name was up in lights. A path of luminaria led the way to a young man fighting the biggest battle of his life, against colorectal cancer.

The evening of Oct. 6, a community came together to show 21-year-old Andrew Weishar they're joining him in the fight for his life.  Friends, family and football teams say Andrew has always shown integrity—as a son, a brother, a football player.

"His friends call him Papa Wish, because he never swears," said his dad, Don Weishar. Weishar asked the crowd gathering in the front yard to keep praying for Andrew.

With candles flickering, Oak Forest High School varsity football players, players from Illinois Wesleyan, some from the Oak Forest Raiders and even a few from Brother Rice prayed the Our Father and sang Amazing Grace outside Andrew's window.

Weishar attended St. Damian in Oak Forest, followed by Brother Rice. He went on to Illinois Wesleyan, where he continued his football career as a freshman defensive tackle. In 2009, after experiencing severe stomach aches and drastic weight loss, Andrew underwent a colonoscopy and was diagnosed. He underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a life-altering surgery. He was considered cancer-free in January 2011; the cancer has since returned.

But Andrew's not letting it get him down. He's still fighting.

And he has plenty of people in his corner. Seniors on the varsity OFHS team delivered a gift for Andrew: the game ball from their Oct. 5 win against TF North. 

From inside a first-floor bedroom, Andrew gazed out at his family, friends—and even strangers—paying honor to a young man, who has never waivered in his faith. 

Oak Forest resident Joe Conway helped organize the get-together at the Weishar home.

"This kid is facing the fight of his life, yet he tells the hospice nurses, 'I'm not done fighting.'"  Conway said. "His will to live and survive is an incredible strength. You've got to believe God has a plan for all of this.  It already has by bringing us all together."

After a few prayers and songs, the crowd of friends, neighbors, family and football players motioned to Andrew's bedroom window and shouted, "We love you Andrew."

As more candles were lit and more light spread across the yards, Andrew's brother Danny helped send Chinese wishing laterns in the sky. Friends watched as the lanterns drifted into the sky.

"Andrew is the most inspirational person I have ever met," said Parker Carroll, of Oak Forest. "I am exteremely proud to call him my best friend."

Leave Andrew well wishes and thoughts in the Comments section. 

Dave October 08, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Andrew, I wish we could have been there for you but we had a wedding. We were certainly with you in spirit. Keep fighting - we will be with you every step of the way!
Julie October 08, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Praying for you Andrew.
Lisa Zeimetz October 08, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Andrew, my prayers go out to you and your family. You are an inspiration to many people. I went to school with your mom and have been following your story thru the Caring Bridge posts. Keep fighting the good fight young man!
Judy C October 08, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Andrew, You are an inspiration to me and the whole community. Keep fighting! if anyone deserves a miracle, it is you!
SWSIDEFAN October 08, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Andrew - wishing you strength and support in your battle. Your Crusader brothers and family are with you and are praying for you. With Blessed Edmund and your family by your side, you are in safe hands. Godspeed. A fellow Crusader
Mary Williams October 08, 2012 at 10:58 PM
ANDREW- So sorry we missed it-somehow didn't hear until Sunday. Always in our prayers and thoughts, Greg and Mary Williams
Chris Towner October 09, 2012 at 01:12 AM
You are in my prayers Andrew. May God bless you and your family! Chris Towner
Bernadette Dotto October 09, 2012 at 01:36 AM
To The. Weishars Our prayers are with you during this time. Bernadette, Luke Austin Bailey and Shane Dotto
michelle pruitt October 09, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Andrew, keep fighting. Our thoughts are with you. Love, coach Roy,Michelle, Jess,Kyle, Josh, Haily and Nick Pruitt
Krystal McNamara October 09, 2012 at 04:02 AM
To Andrew and The Weishar Family, Our prayers are with you during this most difficult time. Love, Bob, Krystal, Bobby, Brian & Shannon McNamara
Steven October 09, 2012 at 05:20 AM
The entire Weisher family, especially Andrew are in our thoughts and prayers. Keep fighting, you and your family are an inspiration to all showing such strength and courage thru these hard times. Love the Losos Family Maureen, Steve, Jim, Alyssa and Steve Jr.
Cynthia A. Osborne October 09, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Thoughts and Prayers, Andrew!
Mike Mahoney October 09, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Keep fighting Andrew, you are a true inspiration to all of us.
Kathy Duignan October 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Never stop fighting Andrew. There is always hope. Faith can work wonders.
Peg Scanlan October 10, 2012 at 12:34 AM
We were in St. Damian's with you guys. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless your family. The Scanlan's - JIm, Peg, Seamus, Rory & Terrin
Annette Kennedy October 10, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Praying for you Andrew-Keep on fighting <3
Debra Tock October 10, 2012 at 02:09 AM
We will keep you and your family in our prayers Andrew. You are fighting a brave fight and have so many people cheering you on to victory! Add us to that list. You are an inspiration. God Bless you and your family - The Tock Family
Eli Williams October 10, 2012 at 03:00 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR8rlTIU8_Y&feature=related Praying for everyone involved. Your unwavering faith and courage is inspiring to us all! Eli
Camile October 10, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Andrew we have never met but my son is a sophmore at Br Rice and came home and told us your story. We have had our own dealings with cancer and cancer doesn't only effect one person but a whole family. You and your family are all in our prayers, from all the support and well wishes you are one special young man.
Dennis Z October 10, 2012 at 04:00 AM
God bless you, Andrew. You are never far from our thoughts and prayers.
Illini Mike October 10, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Andrew - I've never had the pleasure of meeting you, but have followed your story through the Illinois Wesleyan football program. Keep fighting and kick cancer's ass! I know that cancer has never tangled with anyone as tenacious and tough as you. You can and will win this fight! Our prayers are with you to help you along the way.
LBoakforest October 12, 2012 at 02:28 PM
andrew died today. god bless his family!
Jeff Graveline October 12, 2012 at 02:37 PM
LBoakforest, We're looking into this we'll have an update asap. - Jeff
Marcia Cooper October 13, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Our Prayers are with the Weishar family in this sad time of loss. Marcia, Dylan & Shelby Braden.


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