Fruitland Police Officer, Spencer Wiersberg, 22, battling cancer

Spencer Wiersburg, 22, is battling a devastating cancer diagnosis. Here he poses with his family, from left, father Lt. Rich Wiersberg, Spencer, sister Samantha and mother Gerrie.

A young Salisbury man described as “just a great kid” is in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore this week, battling suspected sarcoma cancer as family and friends rally to support him and begin planning fundraisers.

Spencer Wiersberg, 22, a police officer for the Fruitland Police Department, was transported by ambulance Monday night from Peninsula Regional Medical Center to Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology Unit.

“He arrived there late Monday night,” his uncle, Brian Waller, said at midweek.

“In the last month he has had an acute spike in pain in his hip, trouble breathing, some heart pain. He had weight loss. He was unable to keep weight on. He was running a fever. It was obvious in the last week it was more than just being worn down.

“We are looking at some months now that he has had hip pain that was at first, suspected to be residual from his kicking career,” Waller said.

Wiersberg graduated from James M. Bennett High School, where he played soccer, and was an all-star football place-kicker at McDaniel College.

“We suspect that it is cancer but we are awaiting a diagnosis,” Waller said, remembering his nephew was “a very quiet little boy.”

“I can think back to instances when we would try to do things like try to launch model rockets with him and he would hide in the house and peek through the blinds. Then when they took off he would take off running,” Waller said.

To begin raising money for Spencer’s parents’ travel expenses and any medical bills not paid by insurance, T-shirts are being sold on the “Wiersberg Warriors” Facebook page.

Fellow officers at the Fruitland Police Department donated their sick leave.

Spencer’s father, Rich Wiersberg, is a Lieutenant at the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, where more fundraising will be done in conjunction with Operation We Care.

His mother, Gerrie Wiersberg, is a teacher’s supervisor for the county Board of Education.

“This is a very dear family. I have known this family for the past 12 years since I have been Sheriff. I have grown to love this family, including their children,” Sheriff Mike Lewis said.

“I have known Spencer since he was 10 years old. He’s a great wh everybody absolutely loves to be around, Lewis said. “The kid doesn’t drink a drop of alcohol. He has never smoked a cigarette in his life. He went to college to be a law enforcement officer.

“He completed college six months early just to be a law enforcement officer, to follow in his father’s and uncle’s footsteps.

“The kid gets hired by the Fruitland Police Department. He goes to the academy. He has been, without a doubt, one of their top products and top police officers. Then, to be stricken and diagnosed has absolutely crippled and devastated those who know him, those who know his family,” Lewis said.

“One of the things that puts this in perspective is, you go through life and you have a problem or an issue or get caught up in the everyday mundane things,” Waller said.

“Then something like this happens, a tragedy like this, and it’s a wake-up call of what is really important.

“Spencer is the kind of kid who never got into any trouble. He is a just a great, all-around nice kid.”

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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