ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — News 8 is proud to bring you the stories of Remarkable Women. We’re introducing you to people who have overcome obstacles and continue to make a difference. Here’s a look at how one Penfield Mom is focusing on helping others in the wake of her husband’s death.
The Wesley family was living what many would refer to as a dream life. Enjoying the fruits of a successful business started by Tim Wesley. They took several vacations, celebrated holidays and birthdays in a big way and made a lot of great memories over the years.
Little did they know, this would be one of the last videos of them all together, before Tim Wesley was diagnosed with a rare cancer. “
“Daddy has a tummy ache. We’re going to go the hospital and just get Daddy some medicine. We’ll be back,” Denise Wesley remembers telling her kids.
They did come back, but with some very grim news. Tim was given 18 to 14 months to live. They were in shock.
“I thought, wow! How do you tell them? We started doing some homework and then we started traveling because we knew we had to find out what the cancer was. Finally, Sloan Kettering told us it was appendix cancer,” Denise said.
They did their reaserach and finally found a doctor who could help.
“We found a list of 10 surgeons in the country only 10 that perform a surgery,” Denise said. “They removed a majority of my husband’s organs and then they heat up chemotherapy to a really hot temperature and they pipe it into your peritoneum and they strap you to a board and head over feet, side to side. It’s like a washing machine.”
The Wesleys’ believe it was that surgery that got him another five years with his family and friends.
“More birthdays, more vacations, just more of what people think are just another blah day. Our blah days were like awesome days, incredible days because it gives you such an appreciation for, even listening to the kids argue — we learned to not sweat the small stuff,” Denise said.
They also learned how time consuming and expensive it was to get the treatment he needed to give him more time with his family. That’s when they decided to start a non-profit organization called BeUnintimidated and raise money for others fighting cancer.
“I think he always use to say you know if this is the cross i have to bear than I’m going to bear it proudly and loudly,” Denise said. “If I have to go through this, if I can live it out loud and help somebody, share everything I’ve learned and everything I know. He would say it was worth it.”
Tim lost his hard fight with cancer in February of 2018. Not a day goes by that his daughters don’t think about their Father. They say their Mother has been strong, brave and positive throughout the entire thing. Skyler admires her Mom’s courage.
“The fact that it’s just her and she’s still doing all these things — it’s incredible,” Skyler said. “I always hear people complaining, ‘oh my Mom this or my Dad that, my parents are irritating me.’ So many little things! I guess you won’t realize it until it happens to you or until you have a parent gone or somebody gone out of your life. I shouldn’t have been complain.”
Her sister Mackenzie is also happy their Mom is being recognized.
“She’s always the one by your side,” Mackenzie said. “If I need anything. She’s always right there, even if she has a million other things going on.”
Denise, left alone to care for her daughters, learn how to operate the family business, raise tens of thousands of dollars for others fighting cancer and she still remains optimistic. She says we all need to learn to look on the bright side before it’s too late.
Her message to everyone”
“Stop, stop! Life’s so short. Even just the recent tragedy with Kobe Bryant, I mean that’s waking people up! But how long will it last? Are people awake for 5 days and then their kids are fighting or they stub their toe or somebody cuts them off in traffic and they’re back to being really unhappy and miserable. You know everything’s so bad! Everything’s not so bad. You can breath, you’re here, you’re functioning. Give good get good. keep giving out the positivity in the universe and it will return it to you!”
Advice from someone who has reason enough to be negative but chooses to look on the bright side.