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Gold Ribbon Hero Will J.

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Will was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia T-cell on November 18, 2013, three months to the day after his fourteenth birthday.  Will was a warrior even before his diagnosis dealing with several learning differences that just made school hard for him.  In September 2013 he began attending The Hill School of Fort Worth and fell in love with school for the first time.  Three months later everything changed.  Leading up to Will’s diagnosis he was practicing hard as a member of his basketball team, he felt ill but still kept going because he loved playing the game. Often he would get physically sick while driving home from school. Will’s doctor wrote a prescription for antibiotics for a sinus infection and still no change.  Tired, but never running a fever, Will went to ?” Will had an aggressive strain of Leukemia.  After an induction phase of 30 days of chemo and a consolidation phase of more chemo and brain radiology Will had still not reached remission.  A bone marrow transplant of a full sibling donor was his best chance at recovery. There was only a 30% chance that Will’s full blood sister would be a match and as miracles happen she was a match!  Now just over one year later Will is healthy and back in school.
Will began giving back even while fighting cancer by attending a St. Baldrics event where a nurse from Cook Children’s Hospital  shaved her head because Will was her inspiration and Will also appeared in a Cooks Hospital PSA  for cancer awareness.  As Will was getting ready to check into the bone marrow unit he found out his art work was chosen  by the Honored Hero Run to represent their fall race; so six months after transplant Will ran a 10k!  Will continues to speak publicly for any organization that asks.  He has given two speeches for LLS  this year and has more on his calendar.
Will was chosen last year by the Cook staff to serve on their Youth Advisory Committee. Will’s physical therapist was also touched by Will’s brave spirit and decided to go back to school for his Masters. Will is a good student back at the Hill School after practically missing his whole eighth grade year. One year later he finally got to play in that basketball game he never made it to because of Cancer. Will has also been named a Superstar by Ragan’s Hope
Will grew up in Colorado but has Texan roots with his late grandfather Buddy Jeffers being a member of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. He loves snowboarding, sledding, deep sea fishing and being a teenager.” – Nancy J.


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