Playing Through

Playing Through

The game of golf is filled with bad breaks. Even if you are on top of the leaderboard, odds are you are going to have to overcome an obstacle during your round. How you deal with it however will determine whether you succeed or fail. The same can be said in life. Things happen that you cannot control, but how you respond determines your future.

That brings us to the story of John Weishar. John is a freshman at Adrian College and a member of the men's golf team. The events surrounding an accident nine years ago could have been the end of John's life; instead, it saved his life.

John thought that playing a game of basketball with his sister would be a fun way to pass the time during Memorial Day weekend in 2002. He really liked to play sports and be active and beating his sister would be icing on the cake. The two went out to the driveway and after a few minutes things were going great. The mood changed moments later when John's sister knocked the ball out of his hands. The ball bounced against the concrete and struck John in the left eye.

After a few days, his eye began to swell and his parents finally decided that it was time to go see the family doctor. She sent them to a well-known optometrist near his hometown of Westlake, Ohio. John was then instructed to set up an MRI with the Cleveland Clinic and that is where he found out about a tumor growing behind his eye. John was born with cancerous cells and the accident basically jump started the tumor to grow. He had rhabdomyosarchoma which is defined as a cancerous (malignant) tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones. The tumor was described to John as being the size of a golf ball.

He had two surgeries the next week and missed the rest of the school year. A biopsy was conducted to see how serious the tumor was and the analogy of having bubble gum in your hair because of the placement of the tumor concerned the family. John underwent weeks of chemotherapy and during July 2002 had 25 radiation treatments to his left eye. Not only did he worry about his life, but if he did survive, would he be able to play golf and other sports again?

The game of golf had become John's passion during his middle school years. He went out as often as possible and enjoyed all facets of the experience. Would he be able to see the fairways, trees and sand traps again? As time passed, John started to recover from the chemotherapy and surgeries and began to get back out on the course. He took private lessons for a while and set his sights on making the high school golf team at Westlake.

The lingering fear of cancer was in the back of his mind over the next few years, but great news was coming as John found out he had a clean bill of health in the summer of 2009. He still to this day feels long-term effects of the past, but says that his left eye has better vision now than his right eye. John made his high school golf team as a sophomore and excelled in the sport he loves. Last fall he joined the Bulldogs and realized another dream of playing in college. Vision is not only meant for sight but also for spirit.