Former Athlete, Fighting Rare Cancer, Inspires Others with Resilience and Determination

Will Wise, a former professional basketball player, has taken a stand in support of cancer victims after being diagnosed with pheochromocytoma, a rare adrenal gland tumor that caused him to throw up blood on his way to work in central London in 2022.

Although he had no symptoms prior to being ill, additional tests revealed an uncommon disease known as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2). This can cause tumors to grow in the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands, lips, mouth, eyes, and digestive tract. Wise’s cancer had spread to the thyroid gland.

The 30-year-old had previously played professional basketball in Europe and Australia, most recently for the Eastern Mavericks in Australia.

He told the Standard, “When the doctor told us the news, the world just stopped.” I paused, turned to Alex, and cracked a joke. It seemed weird. I tried to take it all in.”

“The tumor caused my body to basically shut down because it produced too much adrenaline. My adrenaline levels were 50 times higher than they should be. The physicians have no idea how I managed to endure such a disaster.”

Wise, a Philadelphia native now living in Kensington with his Australian fiancée, singer-songwriter Alex Hosking, has had 14 months of treatment, including three surgeries to remove his left adrenal gland, thyroid, parathyroid, and 65 lymph nodes, as well as a liver biopsy.

After removing the right adrenal gland and ablating the liver, the patient will be monitored to determine if the treatment was beneficial or if further chemotherapy is required.

Wise made a vlog documenting his battle with cancer the night he received his diagnosis, which he then shared online with the hashtag #CancerBae. He has resolved to utilize his condition to improve people’s perceptions about the illness and to give hope to others who suffer in silence.

With nearly 6,000 TikTok and 5,000 Instagram followers, he uses his social media platforms to post updates on his treatment, rate hospital food, and chronicle his Premier League-watching trips.

He stated, “I’ve always been a positive guy, so this was an opportunity for me to put my words into action. For people like myself who are in Stage Four, the goal is to live with cancer rather than just survive it. I want people to feel like they are not alone, and I’ve received a lot of support in my efforts to create that platform.

“My cancer may be unusual, but the disease is not as rare as it once was. My objective is to improve people’s perception of the word cancer. I’m 6’9″ with tattoos and an athletic build. When you inform someone you have cancer, they give you shiny ‘cancer eyes’. Those who have it understand exactly what I am talking about.”

He went on to say, “I want people to know that you can live a good life with cancer.” It does not need to define you. I aim to establish a new, dynamic, and thrilling movement that removes the spooky stigma.

Following his diagnosis, Wise has dedicated his time to coaching young basketball players in West London. In addition, he trains teenagers at the Richmond Knights and teaches in classrooms in Richmond upon Thames.

He supports Cancer Research UK‘s goal of reducing cancer-related fear and promoting longer, healthier lives.

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