The Andrew Weishar Foundation
Visiting Ian was a memorable experience for the Weish4Ever crew. Two of Weish4Ever's long-time volunteers, Erin & Jack Sweeney, personally wanted to meet Ian. Before the visit, our team was made aware that Ian was born with autism. Jack and Erin's older sister is also has special needs, and they understand that sometimes it makes life easier to knowing you can relate to one another.
Upon arrival, you could tell Ian's home was a place filled with love and excitement. Not only was Ian waiting on the couch, but his sisters came pouring out 1 by 1. Ian has 4 younger sisters and young parents. It's a full house! We started the evening by asking them to share their story. We spoke for nearly 2 hours unraveling their journey.
We learned that it all began when Ian was complaining about lower back pain. They assured us that Ian has a very high pain tolerance and never complained so they know something was wrong. For nearly 2 years doctors only prescribed ibuprofen, and continued to up the dosage for Ian to cover with the pain. Ian was even going to Physical Therapy, but the family could not afford to continue. Instead, they did their best to run through the motions at home with the help of experienced friends and family.
Paying It Forward Since 2013
But that wasn't enough. Ian began to need even higher dosages of medicine due to the unbearable pain. The family went back to the hospital, insisting on seeing another doctor. After an MRI, Ian and his family went into action. The scan revealed that Ian had a spinal tumor nearly the size of a baseball.
Through proton radiation therapy, they were able to get Ian as close to remission as possible. Some of the tumor was unable to be operated on due to the fact this it was in the spinal chord and too dangerous to risk. The family is staying strong and doing their best to keep their life "normal". They plan to remodel his room to be fully avenger themed, his favorite movies. They are an amazing family who continue to keep a positive outlook and live a life knowing every day is a gift. We look forward to growing our bond with Ian and encourage his recovery.