No Free Pass
My name is Dan Williams. Many of you know me from my years on the radio in Springfield, MA. For those of you who don’t know me I offer this quick synopsis. From 1973 to 1976, I served in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp LeJune, NC. I, along with a million Marines and their families, were poisoned by cancer-causing chemicals in the base drinking water. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Lejeune_water_contamination After my discharge I started my Springfield radio career. I had the absolute pleasure of working with my talented wife, Kim, for 16 years doing morning drive radio. Kim is now doing morning radio in Hartford, CT and I’m on the air on Rock 102 in Springfield. We live in a nice house and we have a fantastic 5 year old daughter named Jillian. We are happy and blessed. That, however, does not mean life is not without its challenges and 2013 has proven to be the most challenging of all.
Throughout my 30-plus years on the radio I’ve had the good fortune of being involved with the Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. I’ve served on the Jimmy Fund Council of Western MA for many years. I’ve won several prestigious awards for my commitment in the fight against cancer. I’ve participated in Jimmy Fund Radiothons. I’ve ridden my bicycle across our country twice to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. I helped create Katelynn’s Ride to raise money for the fight against cancer and to support the Jimmy Fund and Baystate Medical Center. To date, I’ve proudly helped raise two million dollars in the fight against cancer. And now… cancer is pissed at me.
You see, cancer has come knocking on my door in the form of bladder cancer. Not a surprise, really, as I’ve expected this visit. Cancer is asking me, “You talk the talk but do you walk the walk?” Two years ago they found a blockage in my ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. The tumor had already killed off the kidney and the doctor suggested we keep an eye on the growth in my ureter. Two years later and I’m in the hospital with blood clots in my calf and the tumor has grown considerably. November 17th I meet with Dr. Chang at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and it’s decided the kidney, ureter and a snip of my bladder need to come out. Robotic surgery. A few small incisions. 3 days in the hospital. As long as the tumor is contained a quick recovery can be expected. But is it contained? A PET scan on January 3rd will answer that question. The operation will take place January 7th. But do I “walk the walk” in the fight against cancer?
I’ve always been a fighter, never asking anyone for anything. For better or worse I’ve always fought my demons alone…one on one. But now this fighter is on the ropes taking some serious body blows and wondering what to do next. At least that’s how I felt until last night when God whispered the answer in my ear and my path became very clear. I am going to “walk the walk” and you’re going to walk it with me. Come June 1, I plan on being back on my bike for the 100 mile Katelynn’s Ride. I plan on having you join me and together we are going to raise a lot of money in the fight against cancer. Together we are not only going to “talk the talk” but we are going to “walk the walk” in this fight against cancer. I’m asking you to fight this demon with me. I’m asking you to stand side by side with me. I’m asking you to help me kick cancer’s ass.
So cancer, thank you for coming to visit me, because you have stirred a passion in me that had gone dormant. You and I have done battle for many years and soon our most vicious battle will take place, and you will lose.
Thank you Kim for being my strength. I love you.