Beloved Wantagh wrestler Joshua Encarnacion, 11, laid to rest after battle with rare cancer


After a 14-month fight with a rare and aggressive pediatric cancer, Joshua Encarnacion was laid to rest Saturday morning in Wantagh. He was 11.

Diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma over a year ago, Joshua, whose uncle is former UFC champion Chris Weidman, was a beloved wrestler in the Wantagh wrestling community. 

“It was a true blessing and he felt so much love from you all as he fought this cancer like a true warrior,” Weidman said in an Instagram post. “Words can’t describe how special and great of a human being Joshy was and how much he meant to us as a family.”

“He took his last breath in me and my wife’s arms and the athlete mentality is what got him through everything,” said Joshua’s father, Christian. “He never complained about anything when he had to focus he did it! His mind was bigger than his body and that’s what made him who he is.”

Joshua passed away on Sept. 1. Over the past year, he has had celebrity interactions with Mike Tyson, Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Mark Wahlberg, as well as celebrated wrestlers Dan Gable and Gabel Stevenson. His story was also covered by ESPN

On his obituary website it reads, “Most notably, Joshua’s legacy is defined by his admirable resilience. Throughout his treatments, he never broke, never gave up, and his deepest concerns were always for his parents and his siblings. His enduring strength and selflessness are a testament to his character and will continue to inspire many.”

The Encarnacion family received a police escort to the funeral courtesy of Wantagh Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. 


In lieu of flowers, you can donate to the Encarnacion family here to help cover the funeral and celebration of life costs.

Remembering Josh