On June 1, 2022, William celebrated 11 months of being cancer free. The very next day, doctors informed him that his cancer came back.
“What a punch in the gut,” said William.
For more than 20 years, William has devoted his career to teaching middle schoolers and coaching high school cheerleading. The start of the 2022 school year was the first time William could not be with his students or his cheer team. Instead, he was in the hospital battling stage 4 lymphoma.
William and his family are no strangers to battling cancer. He has had several family members who have been diagnosed, including his mother who fought pancreatic cancer.
His mom passed away seven years ago but William said “seeing her motivation and seeing how strong she was has put the motivation in me to be positive.”
One thing that has carried over from his mom’s battle with cancer was ‘Team Shimmy.’
“One of the funniest things she liked to do was shimmy all the time, so we created a team for her to walk and carried it over to my journey,” said William.
William’s second round with cancer has had additional setbacks as the community experiences blood and platelet shortages. On multiple occasions William has had to wait for blood or platelets transfusions.
“It becomes frustrating to hear that over and over, but there’s a shortage and I have to be patient,” William said. “The shortage of blood and platelets has meant not getting my blood levels to where they need to be and delays my next chemo treatment.”
Whenever William finally receives a transfusion, he said he feels a lot better. “You feel this new energy and this newness in your body because it’s deprived,” said William.
William is working towards finishing his chemo and receiving a marrow transplant.
“I’m going to high kick cancer’s butt. I’m going to beat cancer again. I’m going to fall back in love with my teaching career and my team,” William said.