1. having the power to overcome great adversity while maintaining a positive outlook.
2. able to withstand great force or pressure.
Will’s journey began shortly after he and his wife celebrated their beautiful wedding and honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico - August 2016. Upon arriving home and settling into their newly married life, Will was diagnosed with Stage 3B Testicular Cancer.
The two weeks following their honeymoon their days were spent at the doctors' offices where Will had numerous tests, scans, blood work and ultimately surgery on September 16, 2016 to remove his right testicle. Ten days following surgery he began an aggressive chemotherapy regime to shrink the mass in his abdomen. His chemotherapy regime consisted of four, week long cycles with two weeks "off" between each cycle but a chemo treatment every Tuesday on those "off" weeks. To say the chemo was grueling was an understatement as by the end of his last cycle he had lost nearly 25 pounds, no hair, no energy or appetite and needed a blood transfusion in order to be “healthy” enough to take his final chemo treatment. As Christmas time neared he was hopeful that his final scan of the year would show the mass in his abdomen had completely shrunk. The scan results weren’t exactly what he had hoped for as there was a small residual mass in his abdomen with a focus of activity.
Next step was to schedule RPLND (Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection) surgery with Dr. Foster, at Indiana University. Dr. Foster, recognized as one of the world’s authority on the surgical management of testicular cancer performed his RPLND surgery January 25, 2017 and January 27, 2017 he received the news that he had so wanted to hear for 6 months — all clear!
Since the months of his treatment and surgeries, Will and Rachel quickly resumed normalcy of their newlywed life and are just overjoyed moving forward! The Will Strong Open was started as a way of our family giving back to so many people - many we knew, many we didn’t, that supported all of us, especially Will and Rachel during their journey. The Will Strong Open is a celebration of Will's journey and all of those battling or who have battled cancer!