Here is a more detailed follow-up story, written and produced by Holly Bristow with Fox 35 News, out of Orlando, Florida. Click on the title to view a video link:
By Holly Bristow – FOX 35 News
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – “The mission is remission,” said Pat Williams as he flashed a shirt bearing that slogan across the chest, just like Clark Kent reveals his Superman “S.”
The Orlando Magic’s Senior Vice President Pat Williams spoke publicly about his recent diagnosis with multiple myeloma. It’s a blood disease that affects the plasma inside bone marrow.
One Friday in January he went in for his yearly physical. That Sunday he ran the Disney marathon. He said he had, “normal marathon soreness, nothing out of the ordinary,” but then that Wednesday morning, “woke up and my back was on fire, exploding with pain. That was the first indicator something was going on.”
Later that week his doctor called, “He said we have a problem here. I remember my reaction, kind of chuckled. He said look at my face, we have a problem.”
Williams is a father of nineteen. He has five biological children, the rest were adopted from Korea, the Philippines, Romania and Brazil. He says the hardest part of all of this so far was breaking the news his kids.
“We tracked them down one by one. It was very interesting some were accepting of it and listened. Some were very emotional” said Williams.
He doesn’t look like it, but he’s 70 years old. Williams has run 55 marathons, three in just the past four months. For the first time he and his family realizes something, “Dad is not made of kryptonite. I guess they thought I was. I though I was.”
Nine of his children went to Wednesday’s news conference to support their father who is just about to wrap up his second week of chemotherapy.
“It leaves you feeling depleted and drained,” Williams said of the chemo. There is no cure for his disease, but there is a 70 to 75 percent chance of remission. Now “remission is the mission” for Williams with the support of his family and his beloved Magic basketball team.
Williams helped co-found the Orlando Magic. He spent 12 seasons as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1970s and early 1980s and has been affiliated with NBA teams in Chicago and Atlanta.
“The mission is remission.” Catchy. But let’s change it to “The mission is a cure!” I’ve been “in remission.”
Its a good place to be–but now my myeloma is back. Mr. Williams helping to raise myeloma awareness can’t hurt!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat