10yo William has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma, an extremely rare cancer in children
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On June 11th, William’s urine looked like coffee—he was peeing blood. What began as a presumed urinary tract infection rapidly spiraled into a parent’s worst nightmare.
An ultrasound revealed two tumors on his left kidney, each the size of a large egg. One week later, William had a CT scan of his chest, abdomen and pelvis. His small body is riddled with tumors—they were found on multiple major organs.
A biopsy of the kidney confirmed that William has Renal Cell Carcinoma , which rarely occurs in children—and it was already at Stage Four. While meeting with the oncologist to discuss the results, Bre mentioned the “blisters” in William’s mouth. Those too, the oncologist said, were likely cancerous lesions. His crippling headaches were also concerning, so a PET scan of his brain and full body were performed on July 7th. (We're waiting for the results)
Not just William, but her other son, too
Bre’s older son was diagnosed at the age of eight with multiple variants of a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), including the life-threatening Vascular and the Kyphoscoliotic forms. He also has Legg Calve Perthes Disease , a very rare condition that results in the death of the head of the femur.
Bre has cared for him through numerous major surgeries, including two hip replacements as well as growth plate placement, complications and removal. His rare EDS subtypes, in particular, require annual visits to the cardiologist to monitor his heart condition.
More bad luck, a turnaround and another downturn
Several years ago, Bre was laid off from her job and was violently assaulted by her then-husband (not the father of her children), who was later convicted and imprisoned. With no source of income, the bills piled up. Ultimately, the bank foreclosed on her home and repossessed her car.
Unphased, Bre held her chin high and continued to move forward—determined to land on her feet without asking for assistance. She started a new job and has been driving the truck that her mom had given to her teenage son. Bre also started working toward her college degree, thus far making the University of Houston Dean’s list every semester.
Despite her go get ‘em attitude, the years of medical expenses and the perfect storm of tragedies have left Bre in debt.
Bre’s truck has a staggering 273,000 miles on it, and the never-ending repairs have increased her debt a further $3,000 in the past two months alone.
The long path ahead
Chemo for William begins in the next few weeks. Bre will be taking FMLA leave from her job so she can attend all of his medical appointments, keep up with her summer college courses and spend as much time as possible with William.
Unfortunately, taking leave from work means Bre will have ZERO INCOME at a time when William’s medical bills will be piling in. The AC to her truck has gone out (again), so transporting William in the oppressively hot, humid Texas climate is extremely uncomfortable.
As Bre’s best friend—I’m asking for your help.
I want to make sure that Bre is able to focus on William’s health and spend quality time with him as he battles cancer.
Not focus on working.
Not worry about paying her bills.
Not increase her debt.
Not risk breaking down on the freeway.
Not needing to commute to the hospital in a fragile truck without A/C.
Most of all, I want her to be at home and available for William at all times.
How can you help?
- Donate, please donate. 100% of the funds will go to Bre so she can still pay her living expenses while she’s not working, cover her share of William’s medical expenses, pay for her own health insurance (not covered during FMLA), hopefully purchase a reliable vehicle and get out of debt (and stay that way). In addition to this GoFundMe, you can also donate directly via Venmo (@williampstrong for Bridgett McWilliams)
- Visit the Amazon wish list to purchase gift cards or other items
- Share the GoFundMe campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or wherever else using #williampstrong
- Follow William's journey on Instagram @williampstrong
- Send postcard, letter or a baseball cap from your local team to:
in care of Bre McWilliams
2950 Unity Drive
Houston, TX 77057
If you have gotten this far, thank you so much for reading Bre's story. We are eternally grateful for any help you can provide. Please contact me directly if you have other ideas that might be helpful.
Roxanne (on behalf of Bre and her family)
P.S. Who is Bre, who am I and why do I care so much?
My name is Roxanne, and for the past seven years Bre McWilliams has been my best friend and a “second mom” to my daughter, Lulu, keeping her for weeks at a time when I traveled for business. Lulu calls her “Mummy Bre”, and proudly tells everyone that she has “two moms”. Everyone who sees them together assumes that Lulu is Bre’s daughter or young sister, and I do wonder how my own child came out looking like my best friend
Bre is as selfless as it gets, and is always there to help family, friends or strangers—regardless of her own circumstances. I consider her to be a sister and will do anything to help her, just as she would do anything for me.
The world needs more people like Bre ♥️
♥️We love you, William—YOU'VE GOT THIS! ♥️