Cory Wiessman: Beating the Odds

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YOLO. The popular adopted phrase of our generation which has become our mantra: You Only Live Once. But no one has taken on the phrase with such vigor as Gettysburg Senior, Cory Weissman.

In a recent ESPN short, Weissman’s story is told. As a freshman in college, Cory was on the Gettysurg men’s basketball team. In March of 2009, the season was over, but Cory and teammates still worked out. While in the weight room one day, Weissman’s left arm went numb. He couldn’t lift any weights with the arm and got a severe headache. And at 19, Weissman suffered a stroke by a malformation in his brain.

The outlook was grim. Fifty percent of those who suffer such hemorrhages have lifelong disabilities, and there is a 50 percent fatality rate. Weissman was one of those lucky few whose body stabilized after such a grueling transformation. The left side of his body, however, remained limp.

What’s inspiring is that even during his time in a New Jersey rehabilitation center, Weissman resorted back to basketball to get him through the adversity, to find himself again after his tragedy.

Triumphantly, Cory returned to Gettysburg in the fall of 2010 with the goal to be back on the Bullets basketball team. After two and a half years of hard work, what began as a small role as a clock operator during practice led to his return to the court and being voted captain by his teammates.

On February 11, 2012, Senior Day at Gettysburg, Weissman was given the ability to start his first collegiate basketball game. He was taken out after the jump ball but was put back in with a minute to go. Playing against Washington College, the opposition knew of Cory’s condition and decided to foul the senior in attempts to get him his first basketball in college basketball. When it came down to the free throws, the entire crowd, Gettysburg and Washington fans alike, were on their feet, rooting for Cory. After missing the first basket, Weissman regained focus and sunk the second.

A feat that three years ago seemed inconceivable, Weissman’s story of perseverance and triumph really emanate the meaning of “you only live once,” and Cory Weissman is truly making the most of his.

Junior > Journalism > Hofstra University

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