Monthly Archives: December 2012

Emily Whitehead is My Inspiration

I read on the Whitehead family’s facebook page today that Emily has the flu and RSV, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Flu and RSV are nasty, but cancer is so much worse. I’m so grateful and relieved that we heard nothing about the worst “c-word” of all.

You see, Emily Whitehead is my inspiration. I take it as a fortunate coincidence that Emily and I share the same hometown of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. The day after I found out my husband’s cancer was back, I read her story in the New York Times. If you haven’t read it yet, do so. This little girl was on death’s door, and her doctors tried an experimental therapy using altered T-cells to cure her entirely from cancer. Seven months later, there’s still no sign of the disease.

The article made me cry because I knew the back story that the Times did not report. Thousands and thousands of people, including my mother-in-law and me, were praying for her healing the night she almost died. Could I get that many people to pray for Robert?

My husband, forever the pragmatist, pointed out that Emily had leukemia, the most studied form of cancer there is. His particular cancer has very little research to back it up. If he gets really sick, the research doesn’t exist to try and bring him back from the brink.

I took a deep breath. “So, we need the prayers and the research,” I said. “I’m on it.”

That’s where the idea for this blog was born. I need 100 million prayers and a million dollars to have a hope of saving my husband. His doctor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is chomping at the bit to study this cancer. We are truly blessed to have the best cancer researchers in the world standing ready and waiting to help.

Will you help?

Please pray, spread the word, and donate at Memorial Sloan Kettering in a fund in honor of R. F. Williams.

Thank you for your kindness and support, and please remember to continue praying for Emily Whitehead.


If Adam Lanza Taught Us Anything, It’s That One Person Really Can Make a Difference

Last week, Adam Lanza snapped. He killed his mother, six women and 20 small children. He crushed twenty-seven families, all of their relatives, and countless friends and strangers. How could one person cause so much destruction and pain?

I am the opposite of Adam Lanza. I would dearly like to save twenty-seven people’s lives, including my husband’s. If one person can do so much harm, can one person do so much good?

As I sit here staring at the Christmas tree, I can’t help but feel that things are terribly wrong right now in the world. Twenty little children and their teachers are dead. Hurricane Sandy caused hundreds of people to lose their homes and their lives just a few miles from where I live. And my 35 year old husband has cancer.

This is the year that will go down in my family’s history as the one where I lost my full time job and got put to part-time; we had to move in with my in-laws to save money; I wrecked the car; my husband got cancer and had his tumor and half his kidney removed; I had a seizure (full-blown eclampsia) at 32 weeks pregnant and almost died; my premature baby was in the NICU for six weeks; she nearly choked on her reflux when she came home, and I had to resuscitate her. Then there were four good months of no cancer, and my daughter and I are now absolutely fine. But just a few weeks before Christmas, the cancer came back.

When the doctor tells you that you have cancer, it’s bad. When the doctor tells you that you have a rare cancer, its worse. My husband has kidney cancer, papillary type 2. It’s hereditary, rare and aggressive. There is no treatment. He is in a clinical trial right now, and they say all we can do is hope.

Except we can do more than hope. We can pray and get everyone we know to pray, too. In fact, if you are reading this, please pray right now for his healing and that his doctors unlock the mysteries of this cancer.

We can also do more than pray. We can raise the money to save him! If we can raise a million dollars—in some ways a lot, but in others so little— his doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering could do gene sequencing, study the cancer, do targeted therapies, maybe even save his life and the other 30 or so people who are in his clinical trial! Maybe what they discover could help others, too.

There have been many inspiring stories in the news about people who have been healed and new treatments for rare cancers in the pipeline. If we all band together in prayer and contribution, maybe we could help push all these good developments along a little faster. Maybe we could bring twenty-seven or so families together in joy that their loved one was saved. Imagine what the world would look like without cancer. Imagine the happiness and hope we could bring.

I’ve created a blog called 100 million prayers because I feel like that’s the amount we need to get us out of this mess. Please visit the site, like our facebook page, pray for us and all others who are struggling with cancer, and please donate directly to Memorial Sloan Kettering in a fund for R. F. Williams to help us find a cure.

As you well know, one person really can make a difference. Maybe it could be you.