”We lost Sam in 2010 at the age of 6. He was way beyond his years, but taken way too young.
Sam was full of life in his toddler years – a wonderful spirit, cheekiness, and a wicked sense of humour. And boy did he have the Wilson streak of competitiveness.
He was the younger brother to our beautiful Joey who was only 9 when Sam lost his battle to brain cancer. No 9 year old should have to endure the pain of losing a sibling especially a brother who Joey loved and adored. I’m so proud of Joey and his resilience and positive attitude in the face of adversity continues to give me strength and inspiration.
Sam’s brave fight was bloody tough to watch as a parent let alone what he endured in treatment. I will always remember the good times and that smile. And his love of KFC and he didn’t mind the odd sip of a VB.
I will always remember in his last days of looking at me as I sat there with tears in my eyes. Beautiful little Sammy just said “Come on dad, take a teaspoon of cement and harden up.” I think he got that off his favourite Brisbane Lions player, Jonathan Brown who was very good to Sam and me especially in our time of need.
There is absolutely no way I could have got through this dark period of my life without my family and closest friends. The friends who stuck by me and remain in my trench.
My wife Chris was a rock and lived every minute of it with me and her strength was remarkable. She’s a truly wonderful woman and wife.
My mother Marylou and sisters Beck and Liz offered me love and support.
Liz and her partner Tertius helped me in Brisbane care for Sam and they loved him dearly. They would set up his room and make it perfect for Sam and Joey, so to Liz and Tersh I owe you so much!
And to Joey and step son Darcy, I love you both very much and I’m a proud dad.
And so to Sam’s legacy.
He would want us to crack on and continue to fund vital research so we can eventually find a cure. Bare minimum, Sam would like to see survival rates improve.
I’m involved in the Charlie Teo Foundation as Charlie was so supportive during Sam’s battle. He was the only neurosurgeon who was willing to have a crack at an operation others just weren’t willing to even consider.
In the end, the cancer was so aggressive not even Charlie could save Sam. But at least Charlie was willing to give it a go and explored all options.
And finally we wouldn’t be at the foundation if it wasn’t for Marcella Zemanek. An incredible woman and friend who lost her beloved Stan at the age of 60. Marcella was and remains a huge pillar of strength and Chris and I can’t thank her enough.
Love ya Marcella, love ya Sam and always in our hearts little man.”