ALAMOSA — Adams State University student and Center graduate Will Weatherford, diagnosed last fall with T-cell lymphoma, has been moved from the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver to his father’s home in Lexington, Oklahoma.
Weatherford became ill with the disease while on a visit to Japan last year. He was flown back to the U.S. and received stem cell therapy and chemotherapy in Denver. Aggressive chemotherapy often succeeds in achieving remission, according to medical websites.
The disease has affected Weatherford’s movement and ability to see and communicate. He is in a wheelchair and on oxygen.
“Will is working hard to regain as much as he can physically,” his mother wrote on Facebook. “This next week we will look for a rehab clinic that will take Will so he can continue speech, occupational and physical therapies. [He was] in the hospital for more than six months in Denver. He was able to get a stem cell transplant in hopes that this would cure him of Lymphoma.
“The jury is still out if he has been cured or not [but] Will’s spirit to fight against his suffering has been unfathomable. All of us have been amazed at his commitment to getting better. Will has a relationship with Jesus and faith that he will one day get to see Jesus in person.
“The last time he was admitted to ICU he almost died. Will says he did die at that time and for some reason, he came back to us. He continues to say he has a purpose for still being alive. Will loves to help others when they are hurting.”
Weatherford was valedictorian of his Center graduating class in 2015 and a state wrestler for four years. He also received an Adams State University Porter Scholarship for students who excel in math and science. When interviewed for his scholarship article he counseled others struggling to make it through school: “Don’t give up…Keep trying.”
As valedictorian, Weatherford shared with his class something a coach once told him: He could be a champ or a chump. When things don’t go his way, a chump gives up, Weatherford said. But “a champ rises up and comes back to give 110 percent. So are you a champ or a chump?”
In Will’s case, we know the answer.
To assist Will and his family, still struggling to provide the care he needs, visit his GoFundeMe page.