USA Wrestling 2004 Graebner named TheMa...

Graebner named TheMat com Wrestler of the Week

By Gary Abbott | Dec. 30, 2004, 12 a.m. (ET)

Tyler Graebner (Hutchinson, Kansas) has been named Wrestler of the Week for the week of December 21-27. Each week, will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level. Graebner is a second grader at Wiley Elementary School, and a wrestler on Team Lightning. Doctors at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City indicated that the 8-year old is suffering from liver and pancreatic cancer. He will begin chemotherapy soon, but the outlook isn't so bright. His passion is wrestling, and according to his family, his No. 1 question as he lies in a hospital bed is when he will get to wrestle again. The wrestling community has learned about Tyler's challenges through the efforts of many people, including wrestling fan Mike Furches, who has posted information on Tyler on forums and throughout the sport. Women's wrestler Danielle Hobeika has developed a web page to support Tyler ( So many people are stepping up to help the Graebner family, which is raising money to cover the vast medical expenses (Medicine alone for one month costs $800). Those that wish to contribute can do so at the web page or by sending a check to: The Tyler Graebner Fund c/o Peoples Bank and Trust 1020 N. Main Hutchinson, KS 67501 There have been many fundraising activities to help raise support for Tyler's medical needs. On Thursday, December 30, the All-American Wrestling Clinic will be held at Derby High School in Kansas, with proceeds going to the fund. Among those giving instruction are World Team member Eric Akin, Olympian and wrestling legend Danny Hodge, NCAA All-Americans Travis Shufelt and Bo Maynes and many other coaches. The proceeds from the John Spohn Memorial Tournament held in Salem, New Hampshire will also be donated to Tyler's funds. Each year, this tournament gives a scholarship (named after a wrestler who had an untimely death a few years ago). This year, the scholarship funds will go to Tyler, according to coach Phil Moricone. Eddie Kinnison of the Kansas City Chiefs has visited Tyler in the hospital. Donations of auction items or gifts for Tyler have come from the wrestling teams at Oklahoma, Iowa State, Wyoming, Minnesota and Nebraska. Journalist Eddie Goldman has written an indepth article about Tyler which has brought additional attention. Other individuals from across the nation have made online contributions. In this holiday season, our Wrestler of the Week is a brave young boy who wants to get better and return to the wrestling mats once again. Tyler Graebner web page Eddie Goldman's article on Tyler Local newspaper story on Tyler Click here to view previous Athletes of the Week