Trace McWhirt is a fighter. No, he has not been in an actual physical altercation, but since 2011, the 15-year-old has been battling Philadelphia chromosome B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
"It scared me. I mean who wouldn't be scared once they hear that? It's a big scary word – leukemia."
For the first 18 months of his diagnisis, McWhirt spent most of his time in and out of St. Francis Children's Hospital.
"The first year and a half … was rough," he said. "I missed out on [school] these past two years."
But with his mom by his side, McWhirt has taken it one day at a time and is on his way to recovery. Doctors expect he will complete his treatment at the beginning of 2014. This fall, he will attend Owasso Mid-High as a sophomore.
"I am not really there yet. Hopefully I'll get transitioned back into it pretty good. It's definitely going to be different though."
To help him and his family with the transition, local pro-wrestling organizations, "Wrestling for Cause" has stepped in to raise funds for McWhirt's medical expenses.
Since 2011, WFC has been holding shows to aid children affected by cancer and their families.
"These kids they cannot fight for themselves," said WFC promoter Tim Rockwell. "They can't go out and get a job. They can't do this by themselves. They need guys like me and WFC and every one of those wrestlers; they need guys like us to help fight for this cause."
Rockwell began wrestling professionally about nine years ago, as did most of the members of WFC.
"What we love to do is professional wrestling, and why not do it and raise money at the same time?"
July 14, WFC will hold a show to benefit McWhirt. The event includes a silent auction. All proceeds will go to McWhirt and his family.
"It's all in my name and for me and it makes you feel special and makes you feel good that there are people that do good things like this," McWhirt said.
The Trace McWhirt Benefit Show begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Owasso Sertoma Center, 405 W. 2nd St. Tickets are $5 at the door.
"He's a hometown hero to a lot of these guys," McDowell said.
To learn more about WFC or this event, visit www.wfccharity.com or Facebook.com/WrestlingForACause.