Utility Menu

Arboretum 4

Richard "Rick" Wege '04 

Rick Wege ImageFull Name:  Richard "Rick" Wege 
Hometown:  Hinesville, Georgia
Class of:  2004
Degree:  Bachelor of Science in Biology

Outpouring of Support from Fellow Alumni

Rick, a healthy, active young man in his twenties was diagnosed with uveal melanoma in 2007. He received radiation treatment and positive prognosis. He was doing really well until April 25, 2014 when he got a massive stomach ache playing soccer. He was then diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer and a poor prognosis using conventional therapies which has limited options for treatment.

Rory Scovel '03 immediately reached out wanting to help. He played a large part in organizing Wege's treatment using natural therapies, (Gerson Therapy) which included a stay in a clinic in Mexico. Scovel and Coco Sinclair '04 then organized a fundraiser that raised over $10,000 largely from USC Upstate Alumni to help Wege gain financial support for his treatments. The support from USC Upstate friends has been amazing and really humbling to Wege. He is now four months into the treatment and is feeling excellent. 

Rick is now living in Sydney, Australia with his girlfriend Nina Lenanska '05 who works in investment banking.

What kind of student were you?
I like to think I was a good student, focused on both academics and athletics

How did your experience at USC Upstate prepare you for your career?
USC Upstate reinforced my interest in science as we have excellent professors and academics at USC Upstate. Being a student athlete helped me to prioritize my workload and allowed me to meet students from across the globe and experience different cultures. 

Did a particular faculty member leave a lasting impression on you?
Dr. Greg Hooks. He coached me throughout my time at USC Upstate and I learned many things on and off the field from him. 

What is your fondest memory of USC Upstate?
Too many to name, but lots of fond memories playing soccer and celebrating afterwards.

Since graduation, what jobs have you held?
After graduation I moved to Australia and have been working at the University of New South Wales. I first worked in the Faculty of Science School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences as a senior technical officer and more recently in the Faculty of Medicine as a project manager. 

What is your current job and what duties are included?
Project manager at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales.

My duties include operations and research support for the faculty, equipment tenders and procurement and management of the Immunovirology and Pathogenesis facility.

Describe your company, i.e. what it does, number of employees, location, etc.
University of New South Wales is a public research university located in Sydney Australia with over 5,000 staff and 50,000 students.

What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment has been staying strong, going with my instinct and treating my cancer in an unconventional way using a natural therapy. I have my family and many friends from USC Upstate to thank for all of the support.

How do you spend your leisure time? Any hobbies?
Playing golf, tennis, swimming in the ocean, hiking, skiing in the winter, anything outdoors!

List any family information you would like included.
I have a very supportive family with two sisters and one brother who have all visited Australia several times. I have been with my girlfriend Nina nearly 11 years and counting and we hope to have kids in the future.

List any community or civic involvement.
I volunteer at a local dog shelter as often as I can.

Alumni Spotlight
Alumni Relations, along with input from other campus offices and alumni, highlights outstanding graduates throughout the year to let others know of their accomplishments.

Past alumni spotlights are available in our  archive of outstanding graduates.