Thursday, June 16, 2011


In my human diseases class for school I had to pick a disease to research & report to the class at the end of the semester. I knew immediately that I wanted to do some kind of cancer because I already knew a lot about it due to some personal experiences with it.

When I was 10 my cousin was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, which is a malignant bone tumor that usually occurs from rapid growth in adolescents. The cancer began in his knee & quickly metastasized to his lungs & other areas of his body. It eventually lead to his death shortly after his 12th birthday. It was a horrific experience that I will never forget. But it sparked an interest in me to learn more about this disease & to live a healthier lifestyle for myself.

A few years after my cousin's death, my parents told me that our dear family friend, Steve Williams had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I didn't know much about lung cancer, but I did know anything that ended in the word 'cancer' was no good.

Steve was strong, fit, healthy, & an avid marathon runner & biker. Never smoked a day in his life, but here he was at the age of 45 battling with lung cancer. Steve & his family kept an online journal of his story, experiences, & updates of his condition. You can read it here.

I finally decided to do my project on lung cancer & to share Steve's story.

Steve loved to bike & loved Lance Armstrong. His family recreated the LIVESTRONG bands with their own WILLpower bands in support of Steve & his fight with cancer. I called Steve's wife, Mary Ann to ask her if she would let me give everyone in my class these bands. She graciously gave me a whole bag of them! She loved the idea & was so sweet & supportive to let me share Steve's experiences.

I gave my presentation yesterday & it went perfect.  My entire class was intrigued & brought to tears by the end. Steve's fight for life & his family's unity & devotion to him was incredible to witness & recreate.

The Williams family are rockstars! They are so incredibly strong & will always be so dear to mine & my family's hearts. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had to know Steve & the Williams family.

"When cancer melts everything else away, even my life, I will still have my family and nothing can take them away from me, not even physical death."
-Steve Williams,
April 9, 2006

With love & WILLpower.


  1. You made me cry. Great post!

  2. Mal, this was so touching. Made me cry. Love you.

  3. great post Mal! I have to agree with the other girls, made me cry! I'm glad you got to share that in class! good job!

  4. Wow Mal! I'm crying my eyes out right now. You have such a tender heart and I know Steve is so happy you got to share his (and his family's) story.

    Love you,