Andrew Wernicke was a beautiful soul that fought until the very end. Read below to learn more about Andrew’s story and the family’s foundation, the Andrew Wernicke Courage Foundation, which was established to help children with cancer and their parents by providing financial and emotional support.
For Andrew Wernicke, sports and life came effortlessly. Born in Minneapolis, it was clear that he was a naturally gifted athlete from a very young age. Incredibly gifted at both baseball and soccer, Andrew, at just nine years old, was able to throw 50 miles per hour. For as gifted as he was on the field, he was just as gifted off of it. He was full of wit and sharp as anyone else, always ready with a funny one-liner. A warm spirit and beautiful soul, the world was an oyster for Andrew who enjoyed living his life to the fullest day in and day out.
A Long Road Ahead
On May 22, 2010, after suffering from constant headaches for approximately six months, Andrew was diagnosed with brain cancer. At just 11 years old, he already had the mindset that he was going to kick cancer to the curb. Even after his first bout with chemotherapy, his attitude and confidence never subsided. Each time cancer roared its’ ugly head, his body weakened; and yet, Andrew never once stopped pushing back. Through multiple surgeries, bouts of chemotherapy and radiation, he endured.
In 2015, Andrew had to also deal with encephalitis, which is brain inflammation. He had to relearn everything, including remembering his own family members. As was always the case, Andrew continued to go toe to toe with cancer. Andrew’s desires were simple: he wanted to live life no matter what. Nothing, not even cancer, would get in the way of that.
In 2017, Andrew found yet another hurdle placed in his way: cancer had spread into his spinal cord. He was given a timeline of just five to six months to live. Andrew’s journey would lead him from coast to coast. In two of the cancer trials, Andrew was the first-ever participant in the United States.
Though his treatment demanded constant travel, Andrew wouldn’t budge in his fight. According to multiple doctors, Andrew was the longest-living survivor in the entire country. Incredibly, Andrew never complained. He never allowed him, or anyone else to feel sorry for himself and always exercised patience. He would continue to fight for five years.
A Beautiful Soul
Throughout his entire battle, Andrew remained a source of hope and inspiration for so many people. He personally defined the words bravery and courage. Not only did he continue to fight, but he also made it his mission to improve the lives of those around him. He graduated high school and attended college, all while being a person that others gravitated towards. Simply put, Andrew Wernicke loved life and nothing would stop him from living it.
In May of 2020, Andrew suffered a series of strokes. As a surprise to no one, Andrew continued to fight until he couldn’t fight anymore. His cancer came back six times in total. On May 6, 2022, after a 12-year battle, Andrew Wernicke passed away from cancer. He was only 23 years old.
Incredible Foundations | Andrew Wernicke Courage Foundation
The Wernicke family was blessed by the help of various foundations such as the Dear Jack Foundation, Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Angel Flight and the Ronald McDonald House. Andrew and his father Dean were flown to and from Seattle thanks to the incredible people at Angel Flight.
Andrew also developed personal friendships with numerous MLB and NFL players, along with PGA Tour golfer Tommy Fleetwood. He also enjoyed a great and meaningful friendship with Ryan Braun and other members of the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
Now, the Wenicke family is giving back through the Andrew Wernicke Courage Foundation.
Andrew Wernicke Second Annual Courage Open
The second annual Andrew Wernicke Annual Courage Golf Open is being held on Saturday, August 19th at Silver Spring Country Club in Menomonee Falls, WI. It’ll be a great day for golfing, socializing and raising money for a great cause.
Few ever figure out how to live life to the fullest like Andrew Wernicke. His ability to live a life worth living while being plagued with a horrible disease speaks volumes about the type of person that Andrew was. Remember to live like Andrew — always be patient, never give up, help others and live life to the fullest.
Want to learn more about how you can help? Share this article to spread the word Andrew, the golf outing and his foundation which is linked below.