Charley Williamson is the neighbor out running when you drive down your street, the involved parent coaching your child’s baseball team, the engaging professional in your office you know you can count on. If you met this young, dedicated husband and father of two, accomplished athlete, and successful lawyer today, chances are you’d never guess that just one year ago he entered into the fight of his life.
At a routine physical last year, a doctor noticed that Charley’s spleen was enlarged and sent him to a specialist for further evaluation. A few days later, on October 27, 2011, Charley received shocking news: He had a rare form of Stage IV non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In the face of uncertainty and devastation, Charley knew he had the support of his entire community, and most importantly of his wife, Corrie, and children Caitlin and Cole. That love was enough to fuel him for the fight—and he wasted no time.
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Within a few days of his diagnosis, Charley began a cancer clinical trial. “I had confidence in my doctor and my medical team, and I certainly had confidence in my faith and in my family,” he says. “I decided it was time to take this battle head on and see what was going to happen through the clinical trial process.”
After his third chemotherapy treatment, a PET scan showed positive results. Cautiously optimistic, Charley continued treatments with the clinical trial drug. In May 2012, Charley’s bone, heart, and PET scans found no trace of cancer in his body. Today, Charley considers himself “cancer surviving,” and says that he feels the clinical trial not only armed him well for the strongest of fights, but also allowed him to contribute to future survivorship and improved care for others.
Without help, Charley knows that not everyone has the chance to access cutting edge treatment as quickly as he did—and that’s where The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation (MPCF)* comes in. With an easy-to-search clinical trial database, as well as a knowledgeable oncology Supportive Services staff, MPCF provides cancer patients with as much information as they want—enabling them to confidently navigate their best treatment options.
That support can make all the difference in the fight of—and for—your life. And Charley knows that each hug, each meal, and each moment together, is a gift well worth our greatest battle.
*PearlPoint Cancer Support was known asThe Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation until February 2013. More about our organization’s story here.