ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Only one person could get these people standing outside braving the temps to raise money.
His name is Wil Ohler and inside the Lindbergh School District family, he’s known as a star soccer player, a beloved son, and a true friend.
“Vibrant, brilliant, beautiful soccer player, everybody loved him!” said Brandi Schweitzer said, a friend of Ohler’s mother.
Wil’s abilities to block goals and defend his team all came to a halt during a hospital visit in May 2017 when the 17-year-old started getting bruises and showing alarming health signs that just wouldn’t go away.
“Within hours they were sending him for blood test and it was at the cancer center and we like oh they must send us here because he was a kid, but she called and said, ‘you have to come to the hospital now,’” she said.
Once blood work returned, it confirmed his loved one’s worst fear – Wil had been living with leukemia.
“It was horrible,” Schweitzer said. “It’s one of the worst things you can hear.”
As the leukemia fought, Wil fought back harder. With his family support, he pushed himself back to his health before the diagnosis, but a curveball came when he relapsed just after the start of the 2018 school year.
“This time it’s just divested his body,” Schweitzer said. “It was hard before but this time it’s just a game changer.”
This time around Wil had to go on a search for a bone marrow donor. Out of 30,000 swabs, his older sister turned out to be his closest match.
So to encourage him during recovery, his teammates and loved ones braved the wind, cold, and rain to raise money using hot chocolate and donuts.
“He’s a fighter and he’s not going to stop fighting and we’re out here only to help him fight,” one of his teammates said.
Because in their hearts they know the sacrifices they're making today is nothing compared to the hardship Will deals with every day.
If you missed the fundraiser, the family setup up a GoFundMe page.