Bryce Wisdom was a beacon of hope for many, including those outside of the Converse, Texas community.
The 17-year-old Judson High School cornerback inspired people around the world after he was diagnosed with Wilms' tumor, a form of pediatric cancer, during his sophomore year. Bryce was supposed to play football last fall, before he discovered in September that he had another tumor. This time, the cancer had spread to his liver.
Throughout his struggles, Bryce continued to be an optimist, flashing his infectious smile and lifting those around him. An entire community stood behind Bryce, a huge Seahawks fan, as the hashtag #BryceStrong rang loud and clear on social media.
A fellow Judson High School football star was among them: Tre Flowers.
During Tuesday’s Seahawks availability, an emotional Flowers spoke about his relationship with Bryce, who passed in his battle with the rare form of cancer in late July at age 17.
“I still got his message in my phone,” Flowers said. “I was talking to him before he went to the hospital, before the cause of his death. I talked to him a little bit before he passed. He meant the world to me, really. I met him late, but I would always see him at games when I was younger, him and his younger brother. I would just always see him with a smile on his face. It was with everything going through life, it was crazy."
The Seahawks right cornerback developed a close bond with his hometown hero and rallied in support of Bryce’s fight. Flowers even showed up at Bryce’s drive-by 17th birthday celebration, gifting him a signed jersey from quarterback Russell Wilson.
Last December, Flowers dedicated his game against the Rams to Bryce when he wore a pair of white-and-orange high top cleats which featured Bryce’s smiling face and a depiction of Bryce wearing his No. 39 football jersey.
“It’s a hometown kid. He’s in treatment right now for cancer,” Flowers said. “Just trying to keep his spirits up. Just trying to do everything I can to help him be happy and his family and whatnot.”
Flowers will continue to honor Bryce every single game this season, and he hopes Bryce is watching him play from Heaven.
“The Year 3 y’all see is definitely because of him. I can’t overthink things, seeing a kid go through that and yeah, he’s my angel forever.”
[Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Joel McHale]