By Suzanne Le Mignot

CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s an organization with one mission — to have a direct impact on the lives of those battling cancer, and it was created with one wish.

Midlothian native Andrew Weishar was just 19 when he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2009. Weishar, an honor roll student, was also an incredible athlete. He played football at Brother Rice and Illinois Wesleyan. In his freshman year, in 2012, while on his deathbed, the 21-year-old told his family, to “pay it forward” when talking about the kindness he received during his fight with cancer. Out of that wish, his family and friends created the Andrew Weishar Foundation — also known as Weish4Ever. At that time, WeishFest was also born.

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Since 2013, the organization has held WeishFest — bringing top musical acts on stage to perform in Chicago, like Andy Grammer and the late Eddie Money. Last weekend, WeishFest, held at Bourbon Street, raised $600,000. The money provides financial help to families with adolescents and young adults, battling cancer. The non-profit, run mostly by volunteers, has given away nearly $2 million in financial assistance to more than 320 families in Chicago and other states, in the past eight years.

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The giving continues this holiday season from the foundation. Five more families will receive between $5,000 to $10,000 by the end of this year, to use however they like — to pay medical bills or to take a family vacation, to create memories with their loved one.

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If you would like to help a family with a young person battling cancer, visit the Andrew Weishar Foundation’s website.

Suzanne Le Mignot