I met my best friend, Sarah, and her mom, Debbie Williams, over 10 years ago. Sarah and I met as freshmen in high school with few cares or worries besides whichever boy we had a crush on at the time. Sarah and I had big goals - she planned to study musical theater and I business. Her mother was our supporter. She hosted sleep overs and listened to our complaints about our friends and teachers. Her mom picked me up and brought me home if I couldn’t find a ride. She let us throw birthday parties in their complex and brought me to Disney world twice. She gave me relationship advice, scolded me when I could be doing better, gave feedback on essays, and supported all of my endeavors. Sarah and I were sisters. Her mother my Mama Williams.
My best friend, my sister, and her family have had the hardest year and a half of their lives. In August of 2016, Sarah's mother was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. They were told this particular kind of cancer was incurable but they would do everything they could to make sure Debbie had a fighting chance at life, at comfort, at having time with those she loved.
I was in Boston when I found out about the diagnosis. Over 1000 miles away, I wrote a letter. I asked this woman, who over the years had become like a second mom to me, that she be strong and remember that I loved her.
Her mom was strong – maybe the strongest woman I’ve ever seen battling a persistent disease. At one point, the doctors even thought she had beat the unbeatable. She was breathing again, laughing again. She got her job back at Disney, took trips with friends and family, and started to emerge from what was a year of darkness.
Then suddenly all was not well. Things quickly deteriorated. They day after Thanksgiving 2017, Debbie got an MRI. I was in town for the holidays. Her daughter Sarah could not be there but I could go on her behalf. Debbie was brave, with a resolve to live.
But the MRI provided more bad news than good. The cancer has spread to her brain. They would have to operate immediately. The whole family gathered by her side before this procedure. They shared kisses, prayers, hope. But there were complications, and Sarah’s mom, operated on November 30th, 2017 has yet to awake. The family will be taking her off of the breathing machine to let Debbie pass peacefully as she had wished.
I have started this go fund me in support of Debbie Williams’ family. The money from this fundraiser will go directly to the family to help cover a memorial service, Debbie Williams’ cremation, medical bills, and some day to day coverage for the family while the affairs are sorted.
Anyone who has ever met Debbie Williams knows what a magical, beautiful person she is. People call her their fairy god mother because that’s exactly who she is. She will brighten a room in an instant and wants nothing more than to share the magic of Disney with everyone around her, which she has done successfully time and time again.
I know the family would greatly appreciate any small gesture to support them through this time. Whether you can or cannot donate, please say a prayer for Debbie Williams and her family, some of the best people I know.
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