"Do It For 'Skinny' " - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/23/07-Price

"Do It For 'Skinny' "

Carlisle Indian pitcher Quinlan Wedel steps onto the mound and drags his foot through the red dirt. With the tip of his toe, he makes a number five in the ground.

Quinlan's carving is a tribute to the teammate missing from right field. Only, it is not just his teammate, it is his brother Coleton.

"My brother is going through a disease called Ewing's Sarcoma," Quinlan explains. "It's very rare, about 200 cases a year, everywhere."

More people have a chance of winning the lottery than developing the disease Coleton is fighting. The survival rate for victims is just 20 percent.

"It was very bad news when we heard it," Quinlan said. "Everybody broke down."

While one brother is fighting for his life in a Dallas hospital, Quinlan's brothers on the field have rallied behind both teammates. The Indian's motto is "Do It For 'Skinny,' " Coleton's nickname.

"Our coach in one game said come on 'Skinny' and from there it just grew," Quinlan said. 

What has also grown is community support. Word of Coleton's illness sparked the small town to make a big move. "Do It for 'Skinny' " T-shirts are on sell and more than $5,000 has been raised for the Wedel family.

"It's Carlisle," said school counselor Leasha Smith. "It's a small community, with a lot of people who care about each other. You know you have to reach out. Overton's offered support as well as people in Troup and Arp. They are all lending their support."

It is the support and the prayers from hundreds of strangers that has the Wedel's now believing in miracles. A test last week showed Coleton's cancer was in his skull, arm, shoulder and leg. But on Tuesday, a scan of those same areas came up clear. Coleton's cancer is now confined to a treatable tumor near his spine.

His survival chances rose from 20 percent to 70.

"For once my parents were crying tears of joy instead of sad tears," Quinlan said. "I just thank God first. I thank (East Texas) for your prayers. You've helped us a lot."

Coleton had surgery and will continue chemotherapy for nine months. He will not be on the field for the rest of the Indians season, but he will still be with the team.

"We have a spot for him in the dugout. We leave a spot for him, put his jersey on a chair and he's there with us every night. All the way to state."

If you would like to support the Wedel family, you can make a donation at any Austin Bank in the Wedel family name. You can also drop off a donation at the Carlisle baseball game.

The Indians play in the regional semifinals against Grapeland Thursday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Jacksonville High School.  

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