EUGENE, Ore. — Cancer victims across the country celebrated National Cancer Survivors Day, Sunday.
Survivors in Eugene came together at the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute to share their struggles.
One cancer survivor, David Williams, knows struggle.
“I was only five years old at the time and there was a table setting for my mom and there was a table setting for my dad there was a table setting for my brother but there was nothing for my sister and I. They were going to starve us,” said David Williams, speaker and survivor.
Williams shared his story about his cancer diagnosis when he was 29, and how it was just another hurdle he’d have to clear after a life full of hardship.
“It was a summer day, my sister she says Dave I’ll be right back I’m going to get some food and she came back with this grocery bag of food. And I thought at first maybe she had bought it but I realized she had stolen that. And so for us to survive we realized we were going to have to be thieves,” Williams said.
After spending years in poor foster care and turning to a life of crime, Williams had found hope when a judge offered lenience for the crimes he committed. The hope was temporary, he was then diagnosed with two types of cancer.
Doctors didn’t think he’d make it through the weekend.
“And at 29 years old I’m thinking to myself man I’ve been married for I think at that point six years, I have a little boy and a little daughter, Grace and Jack, and I’m thinking I’m not going to be able to walk my daughter down the aisle, I’m not going to be able to hold my son’s hand as a he becomes a man I’m not going to have my 50th wedding anniversary with my wife,” Williams said.
Since then he’s overcome one of his two diagnosed types of cancer, which bought him more time.
While some doctors say his life will still be cut short, WIlliams says the hope he has now is from knowing he and others fighting aren’t alone.
“Cancer is just like a common bond that we share and it means we’ve gone through some stuff. We’ve endured some stuff and that we’re here today,” Williams said.