Dublin Villager

Benefit to help Dublin man and others battling cancer

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Wes Kelsey, with nieces Ellabelle (left) and Elin Kelsey and nephew Scott Kelsey, will soon have surgery to remove a brain tumor. Friends are throwing a benefit concert at the Bogey Inn and Grill to help pay for medical bills and other necessities while he recovers.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Wes Kelsey will go under the knife Jan. 10 to have a brain tumor removed.

But Kelsey's friends are working to make sure he won't have to worry about finances with a benefit concert at the Bogey Bar and Grill from 7 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7.

"I've been friends with the Kelsey family for a long time," said Aaron Wright, who is helping put the fundraiser together.

"They've been in Dublin since Wes was born.

"I was good friends with his older brother and Wes has always been like my young brother growing up," Wright said.

"He had a bout with childhood cancer in middle school and went through all that back then.

"He's been in remission for years. Then the last scan found a tumor behind his forehead," Wright said.

"(The fundraiser) came about when myself and Matt Radcliff were talking and wanted to do something for him."

Kelsey, a Coffman High School graduate, who returned to Dublin after college in South Carolina, said he dealt with a tumor in his spinal cord in middle school and then ependymoma again his freshman year.

"Essentially it can typically act like cancer and spread and go in different directions," Kelsey said.

"It doesn't attack organs which is what would be more of a characteristic of cancer."

The tumor was removed from his spinal cord, but had also moved into his brain.

Radiation and chemotherapy worked to stop the growth.

"That threw me a bit of a curve ball," Kelsey said.

"I left Watterson High School and went to Coffman," he said.

"My parents promised to me if I got better I could go to Coffman.

"I didn't dislike Watterson, but when you go through something like that you realize who your friends are."

With good health, Kelsey has worked at Nationwide Financial for the past nine years and started giving back by working with Families for a Cure and the Nationwide Children's Championship.

"Once I heard about what they wanted to do, I wanted to bring in some of the organizations that I've been working with and my sister-in-law has been working with," Kelsey said.

"She lost a brother to brain cancer, so this isn't a new thing to our family," Kelsey said. "I just wanted to not only bring them into it, but turn this into a win, win, win scenario."

The cover charge for the Jan. 7 benefit concert is $20, but a 50-50 raffle will raise money for Families for a Cure and the Scott Sellers Memorial Fund.

Wright said the move was typical for 34-year-old Kelsey.

"He is the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back," he said. "He's a very selfless kind of guy.

"He is always the first to volunteer for any type of benefit."

For the fundraiser, Wright is also getting the band back together.

"The Chandler Wright Story has been on an eight-year hiatus," Wright said.

"We used to play every Tuesday night in the Dublin area for seven or eight years," Wright said.

"It's a one-night only performance of the band and to incorporate it was just a little bonus."

All the attention and help has been a new experience for Kelsey, who is used to being on the other side.

"It's all happening because of them," he said. "It's very humbling.

"Sometimes it's hard to take a complement. I need to learn going forward to start thinking about how I'm going to make this into a positive experience and how I'm going to pay it forward in the end."

Both the $20 cover change and a portion of proceeds from food sales at the Bogey will go to Kelsey and his family.

A silent auction featuring Memorial Tournament tickets, an Ohio State University football helmet signed by Urban Meyer and OSU basketball tickets.

Families for a Cure and the Scott Sellers Memorial Fund will benefit from a 50/50 raffle.

Those unable to attend the Jan. 7 concert, but who want to assist Kelsey can donate online at gofundme.com/5qp7hg.

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