Many remember him as the boy with the smile that can be seen from a mile away. The boy with the contagious and unforgettable laugh. The boy with more fight than anyone has ever seen, and the perpetual effort and strength he had. This boy is Harrison Willing, a Quakertown student and a friend to so many, who had lost his fight with cancer on March 3rd, 2018.
Harrison can be explained by many as the picture perfect child. He was a great student, had a heart of gold, had many friends, had great grades, an amazing work ethic, and most of all he had a care and love for everyone. Stories of good times with Harrison are held by nearly everyone who had met him; friends, family, teachers, students, peers, and many more.
Lamentably, at 13, Harrison was diagnosed with cancer. Harrison fought strenuously and refused to give up. Throughout his treatment, Harrison carried on and his work ethic kept him moving through treatment. Through all of Harrisons’ fighting and efforts, they had paid off, he had finally beaten cancer. After defeating cancer, Harrisons tests were still taken, and traces of cancer were found.
After months of Harrison continuing his great fight, he had passed at the age of 14. Just over a year and a half since Harrison’s passing and the Willing family has decided to build “The Harrison Willing Memorial Pond.”
The Quakertown football team had always had contact and a great connection with the family. Head coach, George Banas explains how the team and the Willings have stayed in contact over the years, “We’ve had a close relationship with them over the past couple years. Realistically, Kendra Mushrush, Brad Mushrush, and Shawn Newswanger (player) are very tight friends with the family,” Banas explains. “So we have always been in touch through them.” Banas offered his hand because of the close connection between Harrison and the team. “I know they were struggling to get it finished,” Banas says, “So I thought this would be a great opportunity for our kids to give back.”
Banas also explains the connection in elaboration as to why they wanted to help build the pond. “Shawn (Newswanger) had a really tight relationship with him, and the team got to know him too through fundraisers and things like that, and also the family coming out on Friday nights to watch the games.”
Other cases of the football team giving a hand have been seen through numerous events, but this one is seen as different. Being that Harrison had such a close connection to the team and that the family is still constantly in contact with the team. Coach Banas states, “This one obviously is closer to the heart with knowing them personally, and also just seeing a loss from a kid that young… it’s just something that is personal to all of us.” The project is not quick and easy, however, with the help of the team and many others in the community, the Willings plan to have the pond completed and filled before the first freeze of the winter.
Harrison Willing Obituary: https://www.nauglefcs.com/obituaries/Harrison-Willing/#!/Obituary