Fundraiser promises ’Wrestling Against Cancer’
WAUSAU – Sometimes, cancer fighters resort to a piledriver or a power slam.
Those moves and more may be part of the action at the fifth annual Wrestling Against Cancer event at the Possum Palace in Wausau on Aug. 8. All proceeds will go to help Washington County resident Ryan Langford with his medical expenses as he battles Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive brain cancer.
Event organizer Jack Patterson began the wrestling benefit when his sister, Regina Patterson Kirkland, was diagnosed with breast cancer about five years ago. To help her with medical costs, and to raise awareness about cancer, Patterson arranged the inaugural showcase in 2015.
“I saw what my sister struggled through,” Patterson said, adding that she was now in remission. “And I wanted to help her financially. It don’t cover everything, because cancer is costly.”
Patterson estimated that, combining door receipts and concession sales, the event has raised between $3,000 and $5,000 each year.
“Cancer affects a lot of people,” said Patterson, who wrestled professionally for about 30 years. “It affects them not only physically, but also emotionally and financially. This is a small way we can help ease that burden.”
Last year, the benefit was dedicated to Madison Wilson, a Chipley teenager who was then battling — and has since beaten — Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Patterson chose this year’s recipient in part because he’s known the young man for many years. Langford’s parents brought him to wrestling matches throughout his childhood.
“He’s a good young man, and he’s been through a hard time in the last year,” Patterson said, adding that Langford’s home burned and his wife became pregnant shortly after he was diagnosed. “He needs help.”
This year’s wrestling line-up includes Donnie B., Waylon Barley, Bill Weaver, Fantasy, Cali Man, Silas Brown, Chief Little Bear, Uptown Funk and more. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 8, at the Possum Palace, 3121 Possum Palace Drive in Wausau. The first bell will ring at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, with admission free for children age 3 and younger.
Because of COVID-19 concerns, face masks will be provided at the door for those who don’t have one, and social distancing will be observed, Patterson said. All workers will be masked and gloved, and hand sanitizers will be provided.
“With all this stuff going on, I just want to encourage people to come out,” Patterson said. “We’re going to have all the safety protocols in place.”
For more information and updates about Wrestling Against Cancer, follow Jack Patterson on Facebook.
WRESTLING AGAINST CANCER
When: Doors at 5:30 p.m., first bell at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8
Where: Possum Palace, 3121 Possum Palace Drive, Wausau
Admission: $10 each; free to kids age 3 or younger
Why: To raise money to help a cancer patient with medical expenses