Wesley McCall’s life on earth lasted 16 years until he died from his second bout with cancer on March 11, 2018.
His mother, Angela Kemp, is making sure the impact of Wesley’s life lasts longer as she tries to help other parents of children who’ve been diagnosed with cancer.
Seeing the need
“Wesley actually battled cancer twice,” Kemp said. “And I lost my job during his first battle, which he was diagnosed when he was 3 years old.
“I didn’t lose my job during the second battle, but it was still a big worry for my family, losing an entire income because I wasn’t able to work on top of staying in Memphis and having to take care of things there while also making sure bills got paid back home with other family living there.”
Wesley’s battle gained attention across West Tennessee in recent years as his friends and classmates at Crockett County High School did a lot to support him and his family, including adopting the social media hashtag #WesleysWarriors that became synonymous with the courage and faith Wesley showed in his battle, even in the final weeks and days before his passing.
Wesley’s Warriors has evolved into a 501c3 foundation designed to raise money to help families with taking care of financial needs as they deal with cancer treatment.
“We had a lot of people, a lot, who helped us out with money or gift cards or whatever,” Kemp said. “And we made sure everything that was given to us was spent on Wesley.
“If he wanted to go out to eat one night or wanted to get something fun for himself like a Lego set or go somewhere, the money given to us went toward that. And I want to be able to help people who may not have the support that we had or needs help for whatever reason because if we can take away the worry of lunch one day or a bill one month or two or three, that’s one less thing to think about while focusing on their child.”
Kemp is organizing the first big event for to raise funds for the foundation, and it involves an athlete with Crockett County connections.
Professional baseball player Casey McGehee will speak The Barn at Snider Farms on Saturday, Feb. 2 on Wesley Warriors’ behalf along with an auction and dinner.
McGehee played for the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx baseball team before making his Major League debut with the Chicago Cubs in 2008. While playing here, he met his wife, Sarah, and live here during the offseason.
“Casey has a powerful testimony that people respond to, so we appreciate him taking the time to help us out with his support,” Kemp said.
Auction items available include gift cards from local businesses, sports memorabilia, a week stay in Destin, Fla., and a weekend in New Orleans.
“I wanted the items at this auction to have a wide range of people that would be interested, and I think we’ve done a good job of that,” Kemp said. “And a lot of the athletes at Crockett County and a few at Jackson Christian where my other children go will be there waiting tables.”
Individual tickets are $40, and tickets for an entire table for 10 are $350. VIP packages for $600 will get a table plus admission into the meet-and-greet, which Kemp said there are five tables available for that. Tickets can be purchased online at www.wesleyswarriors.org.
Reach Brandon Shields at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 731-425-9751. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or on Instagram at editorbrandon.
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