800 University WaySpartanburg, SC 293031-864-503-5000
Blake Whitney - 14Team: Baseball
Brenicke Johnson Team: Track & Field
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Full Name: Richard "Rick" Wege
Hometown: Hinesville, Georgia
Class of: 2004
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology
Outpouring of Support from Fellow Alumni
Rick, a healthy, active young man in his twenties was diagnosed with uveal melanoma in 2007. He received radiation treatment and positive prognosis. He was doing really well until April 25, 2014 when he got a massive stomach ache playing soccer. He was then diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer and a poor prognosis using conventional therapies which has limited options for
Rory Scovel '03 immediately reached out wanting to help. He played a large part in organizing Wege's treatment using natural therapies, (Gerson Therapy) which included a stay in a clinic in Mexico. Scovel and Coco Sinclair '04 then organized a fundraiser that raised over $10,000 largely from USC Upstate Alumni to help Wege gain financial support for his treatments. The support from USC Upstate friends has been amazing and really
humbling to Wege. He is now four months into the treatment and is feeling excellent.
Rick is now living in Sydney, Australia with his girlfriend Nina Lenanska '05 who works in investment banking.
What kind of
student were you?I
like to think I was a good student, focused on both academics and athletics
How did your
experience at USC Upstate prepare you for your career?USC Upstate reinforced my interest in science as we have excellent professors
and academics at USC Upstate. Being a student athlete helped me to prioritize my
workload and allowed me to meet students from across the globe and experience
Did a particular
faculty member leave a lasting impression on you?Dr. Greg Hooks. He coached me throughout my time at USC Upstate and I learned many things on and off the field from him.
What is your
fondest memory of USC Upstate?Too many to name, but lots of fond memories playing soccer and celebrating afterwards.
graduation, what jobs have you held?After graduation I moved to Australia and have been working at the University of New South Wales. I first worked in the Faculty of Science School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences as a senior technical officer and more recently in
the Faculty of Medicine as a project manager.
What is your
current job and what duties are included?Project manager at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales.
My duties include operations and research support for the faculty, equipment tenders and procurement and management of the Immunovirology and Pathogenesis facility.
company, i.e. what it does, number of employees, location, etc.University of New South Wales is a public research university located in Sydney Australia with over 5,000 staff and 50,000 students.
What do you feel
has been your biggest accomplishment?My biggest accomplishment has been staying strong, going with my instinct and treating my cancer in an unconventional way using a natural therapy. I have my family and many friends from USC Upstate to thank for all of the support.
How do you spend
your leisure time? Any hobbies?Playing golf, tennis, swimming in the ocean, hiking, skiing in the winter, anything outdoors!
List any family
information you would like included.I have a very supportive family with two sisters and one brother who have all visited Australia several times. I have been with my girlfriend Nina nearly 11 years and counting and we hope to have kids in the future.
community or civic involvement.I volunteer at a local dog shelter as often as I can.
Alumni SpotlightAlumni Relations, along with input from other campus offices and alumni, highlights outstanding graduates throughout the year to let others know of their accomplishments.
Past alumni spotlights are available in our
archive of outstanding graduates.
Contact UsDirector of Alumni RelationsCharlianne Wyatt Nestlen864-503-5240Student AssistantJessica DeBiase864-503-5856USC Upstate Alumni RelationsCampus Life Center, Room 212800 University WaySpartanburg, SC 29303Phone: 864-503-5240Fax: 864-503-5264Faculty/Staff Directory
The University of South Carolina Upstate is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of USC Upstate. Comments or Complaints?