Most met him through his many years as a wrestling coach and a Golden Gopher wrestling fan. Some met him as an instructor of golf, tennis, bowling or other physical education class at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Others met him as their landlord or realtor. Regardless of how you met him, once one met him, one did not forget him. He had a presence. He lived life unapologetically with thick skin and a soft heart. His exterior was rough yet his character was fair and caring. He was loyal to his friends and always true blue!
Since his passing, however, his color has become purple–purple represents hope in the hell that is pancreatic cancer.
Gary Wellner was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the spring of 2009. Initially, he was one of the few lucky ones. Lucky to qualify for surgery. Lucky his pancreatic cancer went into remission. Unfortunately, it came back, and this tough wrestler battled a tougher & deadly opponent in a match for his life.
Even when hope was lost for his life, Gary sacrificed his string of 37 consecutive NCAA Wrestling Tournaments to participate in an experimental pancreatic cancer drug study. He persevered through seven complete 21-day-phases of the study; the next closest nationwide was three phases. Proof that the world lost a true warrior when Gary Wellner died last Christmas Eve.
Pancreatic cancer is the 4th deadliest cancer behind lung, breast, and colon cancers and is soon predicted to jump to the second leading killer. Pancreatic cancer is the ONLY major cancer without a rise in survival rate over the last 40 years.
The hopelessness of pancreatic cancer’s incurability was unacceptable to Gary, and, as he often did, he inspired action. 2013 and 2014 marked the beginning years of an annual golf tournament. This year, Gary’s non-profit, Gary’s Gift to TakeDown Pancreatic Cancer, carries on his passionate vision to raise research funds & end this dreaded disease.
The third annual “Putting for Pancreatic Cancer Research” will be September 18, 2015, 12:30 p.m. at Majestic Oaks with registration and contests starting at 11:00 a.m. The cost per golfer is $125 which includes 18 holes of golf, golf cart, fabulous dinner, golfing prizes, silent auction and a raffle. Golfers can take home and win great raffle prizes and items from the silent auction!
After expenses, all of the money raised will be donated to the U of M Foundation for pancreatic cancer research.
Come on out and be a part of curing this dreaded disease. We have lost enough of our loved ones. Let’s not lose any more!
Please visit www.GarysGift.net and register online for the golf event now.
Join us. Let’s putt our way to a cure!!!