’Bryce Strong’: A smile gone too soon, but never forgotten

On the life and legacy of Judson's Bryce Wisdom

Community celebrates Bryce Wisdom's birthday with parade

SAN ANTONIO – It’s impossible to put into words what Bryce Wisdom means to the Judson community and San Antonio.

Bryce’s smile stretched from ear to ear and was often brighter than the Texas sun. Even in his darkest moments, Bryce never let the light leave him and he simply refused to let cancer beat him.

“Mom I Won” were some of the final words he would say with his family by his side. And that’s exactly what he did during his nearly two-year fight with the disease. He beat it every single day.

MORE: Judson’s Bryce Wisdom passes away after battle with cancer

Those blessed to meet and get to know the Wisdoms know they are warriors. But above all, they are a family of faith, love and football.

I can never imagine the strength it took for Diana “Momma” Wisdom to share her son’s daily battle on social media.

For Bryce’s father, Richard, to give us the smallest insight into his son’s courage.

For Bryce’s siblings and loved ones to allow us to join them on this journey.

For San Antonio, it was an honor to stand behind them and that will continue no matter what lies ahead. The Wisdoms have given us as much.

MORE: From San Antonio to NFL: Tributes pour in for Judson’s Bryce Wisdom after cancer battle

Then there was Steele, Wagner, Clemens — some of Judson biggest rivals —and other opponents honoring Bryce with banners and shirts before games.

It was fans, parents, coaches, teammates, friends wearing orange in support of a 17-year-old teenager who embodied the spirit of human life.

It was UTSA football and the entire “210” embracing Bryce with open arms.

Bryce Wisdom’s battle with cancer has captivated the San Antonio community. His motto, “Bryce Strong,” has touched hearts and minds across the nation, even reaching the the ears of his beloved Seattle Seahawks. Sunday evening, his fight came to an end. In his own words, “I won.”

It was Seattle Seahawks defensive back and former Judson standout Tre Flowers wearing “Bryce Strong” cleats last season to honor him.

It was a parade at the Wisdom’s house for Bryce’s 17th birthday, where cars lined up for miles to celebrate his day.

And through it all, there was Bryce Wisdom with a smile that showed nothing could deter him from living his life to the fullest.

No amount of chemotherapy or hospital visits could stop Bryce from having a warrior’s mentality and fighting until the end.

“Bryce Strong” started as a hashtag to support his cause, but turned into a way of life.

There have been countless messages of love for Bryce shared on social media. So many people personally affected by Bryce or his story locally and across the country.

But make no mistake, cancer sucks. Bryce should be getting ready for the school year. He should be getting ready to put on the pads for the Rockets this season and cheer on his older brother Rashad at UTSA, but he will have to do that from above.

Cancer has likely affected all of us in some way. It makes you understand the value of life and the pain of loss.

Bryce lived his 17 years like they were 117 years. Those moments can never be taken away.

Bryce’s smile left us too soon, but will never be forgotten and live on forever. And we are all Bryce Strong because of it.

**Editor’s Note: RJ Marquez is one of several KSAT journalists who covered, and was consequently inspired by Bryce’s story. He wrote this in tribute to Bryce, his family and the community who supported Bryce.

About the Author:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.