Thursday, June 16, 2011

WILLpower


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.

4 comments:

  1. You made me cry. Great post!

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

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  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!

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  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,

    Mom

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