Tampa Bay Times: Tampa friends created Pig Jig and a potential cure for a rare disease

Tampa Bay Times

From Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tampa Bay Times

TAMPA — The last time Tampa held a Pig Jig, it was a sold-out event with 12,000 people packed in to see Grammy winner Darius Rucker perform as more than 65 barbecue teams competed.

Will Wellman, 39, stepped aside with tears in his eyes as the smoking meats perfumed Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. He took a moment to absorb the miracle his childhood friends had created. It started as an unlikely band of 20-something guys who had a backyard barbecue contest. It has grown into one of the area’s biggest events — and the single largest donor for research in the history of the rare kidney disease that Wellman has.