William never complained. It just wasn’t like him. So when he said he had pain in his stomach, his mom knew something was wrong.
After a week of ruling out appendicitis and other possibilities, a CT scan indicated a five-inch abdominal mass. His local pediatrician referred William to Nationwide Children's Hospital where he underwent further testing, including a biopsy. William went home with his family to await the results.
When the call came, the news was one of the most difficult things a parent can hear, “Your son has cancer.” William was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma - Diffuse Large B Cell.
William was readmitted to Nationwide Children's Hospital and began treatment. His initial chemotherapy treatment was two weeks, after which CT and PET scans revealed a 51% decrease in the primary abdominal mass. William underwent months of treatment and remained positive through it all.
William’s mom, Michele, says “His attitude is what has kept our entire family uplifted as we journey down this new path of normalcy.” As for the hospital, she adds, “I don’t know how to put into words what Nationwide Children's Hospital means to us. The Emergency room physicians and nurses, the Hem/Onc nurses and physicians, patient care aides, nurse practitioners, social worker, school liaison and school teacher, staff at the 11th floor clinic and volunteers have all been amazing. The Activities staff and the massage therapist were able to connect with William to help bring him out of his shell and to offer socialization and comfort to him. By attending the Teen Group, he was able to meet other kids and learn from their experiences; which helped him to feel like he can still be a normal kid even though he has cancer.”
The normal kid things 15-year-old William likes to do include outdoor activities like fishing, being in the woods, riding his dirt bike with friends and shooting targets. He loves sports. He plays for the Crew Juniors in Columbus and likes the OSU Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers and, of course, the Columbus Crew.
Teams paired with William:
- St Francis DeSales
- Westerville South
- Dublin Coffman
- Hilliard Davidson
- Hilliard Bradley