While fighting cancer himself, Will Flewelling finds ways to help others. 

May 25, 2021

Will Flewelling, center, front, along with his parents and siblings.

While fighting cancer himself, Will Flewelling finds ways to help others. 

#WillStrong

By Kate Krieger, MCP Staff Writer.

LUDINGTON – The word inspirational is just one of many adjectives people have used to describe Will Flewelling. Will, 20, is the son of Jen and Jamie Flewelling and a 2019 Ludington High School graduate. He was diagnosed with melanoma over two years ago.

Tom and Patricia Ezdebski, the founders of the Ludington Optimist Club’s Childhood Cancer Campaign are working alongside Will this summer as he has asked them and other area community members to help him “pay it forward” and to raise money for the CCC to support families who are traveling on similar journeys to his own.

“I think Will has done more for us than we have for him,” Tom Ezdebski said. “The faith and courage he’s demonstrated is an inspiration to all of us. Now he is paying it forward to the Childhood Cancer Campaign through several fundraisers including upcoming lemonade stands and the soccer tournament on June 19. Will is determined to help other families in this area that have a child with cancer.”

Along with the CCC, Flewelling’s cousin, Kyle Gurzynski, has organized a soccer tournament fundraiser to help raise money for the CCC in Flewelling’s honor.

“Will had the idea of putting together a fundraiser soccer tournament to raise money for the Childhood Cancer Campaign,” Gurzynski said. “It’ll be held Saturday, June 19 at the Bryant Road soccer fields. It’ll be a six versus six, double elimination soccer tournament, where all donations and registration costs will go directly to the CCC. We will have a couple raffles, concession stands and music for players, spectators, and fan alike.”

Will has played soccer throughout his life and he said he thought it would be a great way to give back and to get the community involved in something he has had such a passion for.

“I graduated from LHS in 2019 and played varsity soccer for Ludington for all four years,” Will said. “In my time there, we won three district titles, two regional titles, and were state runner-up in 2017. My cousin, Kyle suggested a soccer tournament fundraiser and we took that idea and ran with it.”

Everyone involved in the soccer fundraiser has positive expectations for the event, especially since Ludington has such a history with so many decorated boys and girls soccer teams.

“We think this fundraiser is going to go over very well and we have had a few teams sign up already,” Flewelling said. “I really wanted to give back to the Childhood Cancer Campaign and we think this event will bring in a lot of funds for them, while also being a fun day for all those involved.”

Along with the soccer tournament, the CCC and Flewelling family just announced that they will be offering a yearly scholarship of $1,000 to a Ludington High School senior, starting this year.

“The Childhood Cancer Campaign, in conjunction with Will’s family, will be offering the Will Flewelling Scholarship at LHS this year and every year thereafter,” Ezdebski said. “We are excited to work with Will and his family to offer a scholarship in his name to Ludington High School seniors. Any senior interested in college or trade school may apply. Applicants will be asked to write a letter to a young cancer patient, providing a message of hope and encouragement. Will’s family will read the letters and select the winner each year. It is our hope, through this scholarship, that we honor Will, his fighting spirit, incredible courage, and enduring faith. The Childhood Cancer Campaign will give the letters to current patients.”

To find out more information about the soccer tournament, check out the event on Facebook by searching “#willstrong soccer tournament.” Flewelling and the CCC will continue to host different lemonade stands around the area and those dates can also be found on Facebook by searching “childhood cancer campaign.”

“There are a lot of opportunities to volunteer at the tournament as well as donation opportunities,” Gurzynski said. “The CCC has its own Venmo name now that people can donate to or they can send a check to me at 1200 East Tinkham Ave, Ludington, MI 49431 and make sure checks are made out to the Childhood Cancer Campaign. The tournament is limited to the first 40 teams. 

“Will’s spirit has been an inspiration to anyone around him. I’ve never seen him complain or get down in the hand he’s been dealt. He’s been my hero through this fight. He’s put others before himself over and over. Doing lemonade stands and putting together this tournament to raise funds solely for CCC to make a difference in other children’s lives for future years, it’s been nothing short of amazing. He’s really been a true inspiration.”

For more information about any event the CCC is hosting, they can be reached at 231-631-7435 or through its Facebook page.

“I would love to thank the community who has supported me so much through this whole battle,” Will said. “It is so great having a wonderful family and friends who have been there through my many ups and downs of this diagnosis. Earlier this month while on a family vacation, I asked Randi Stone, my girlfriend of nearly six years, to marry me. We have been together since our freshman year of high school and were so excited to finally get engaged. Overall, this cancer battle has been one that we have all fought together as a family. Thank you to those who have reached out offering prayers, love, and for supporting my endeavors now to raise money for the Childhood Cancer Campaign.”

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