DERBY, Kan. (KWCH) The wrestling mat is nothing new for Grady Jesseph, but last week his motivation for wrestling changed, as his best friend, Nolan Tauer, is battling a brain tumor.
"I started crying, it made me upset, made me think about what i should do to see him, it kinda feels lonely, because like i don't have my bestfriend with me," said Grady.
Nolan and Grady have been friends for four years, Grady says he'd like to think he inspired someone he says is like a brother to wrestle.
Nolan's coaches say he started having headaches last month during practice, now he's at a Kansas City hospital getting treatment.
"I told him it was going to be OK and that he'd be out on the mat again and that he just has to fight," said Grady.
Nolan wasn't just a good friend at Derby North Middle School, his wrestling coach Kendal Bernstrof says he was an amazing leader, a presence he says they'll miss this season.
"Knowing we're going to be missing a big part of our varsity squad, it is really going to hurt us for the league tournament, he's probably a good 2nd or 3rd seed for his weight class," said Bernstrof.
Bernstrof says Nolan is very charsmatic, full of character during practice. He says Nolan started developing headaches last month during practice and had to sit him out. Bernstrof says those headaches escalated quickly to a tumor in a matter of weeks.
Grady says pictures of he and Nolan keep him motivated that he'll see his best friend back on the mat, but for now he dedicates his matches to Nolan.
"I just wanna feel like he's there, that he's supporting me and I just wanna win for him" said Grady.
Grady hopes soon they'll reunite on the mat.
Friends of the family have setup a GoFundMe to help with medical and travel expenses.