My name is Jillian K Williams, and I was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma February 29, 2016 just shy of my 19th birthday. Being a freshman volleyball player for Texas Lutheran University, a world of opportunity at my fingertips, I felt my world had come to a screeching halt. With my family surrounding me, we had no idea where to turn and what was going to happen next. As an “adult” on paper, navigating through doctors appointments and making treatment decisions were trying for someone who was emotionally very much still a child. During my treatment, I met many other patients my age and older that felt the same way.
Yes, ending treatment was a goal we all looked forward to, but that was a short term goal to a long term problem, and some of us didn’t make it to that finish line.
So that is where my idea came to life. Although I was not able to have an exciting trip or anything at the end of treatment, I made it a goal of mine to provide other patients with that opportunity! Many times, adolescents and young adults get looked over, because we are considered “adults” in every legal sense, but are not yet at the age to fully support ourselves.
I pray to fulfill needs and dreams of AYA patients to give them an exciting “something” to look forward to as well. We also encourage everyone to feel inspired by this amazing and unique group of individuals, feel compelled to donate abundantly, share amazing stories of strength and courage, and LEAP through life.
During my journey, there was one scripture that gave me peace and understanding.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.”