The Brooklin Redmen’s captain and leader Shawn Williams has developed a reputation over the years for being able to take a shot. With his 40th birthday looming this June the Red’s all time leading scorer has been cross checked, punched, slashed, kicked, and even bitten once in order to score a goal or dish to an open man. No one in the lacrosse world, or any world for that matter, can question ‘The People’s Willy’s’ toughness, however late last week he was delivered a blow that has left him reeling more than a cheap shot from a woody ever could.
Shawn and Tamara’s 8-year-old son (his birthday was this past Saturday, February 1st) went to a walk in clinic on Thursday, January January 16 for what was thought was swollen tonsils. When the doctor took a look at them the family was immediately directed to the local hospital and seen by a specialist who referred them to Toronto Sick Kids Hospital. Tuesday, January 21st they attended Sick Kids where a CT scan revealed a large mass. At this point a biopsy was scheduled for the following Monday. Two nights later while in the process of putting a solid beating on Mrs Carolyn Toll at checkers Tucker started to have trouble talking and his breathing became laboured. Tamara contacted the doctor and they were told to bring him in right away.
The following day a large egg sized tumor was removed from Tucker’s throat to help with his breathing and eating. The usual one hour surgery lasted nearly three hours. Once the tumor was examined it was learned that Tucker had Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a form of non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While full recovery is a good prospect the road is more difficult than any child should have to endure and Tucker is expected to be in hospital for 4-5 months.
A few hours later ‘The Tuckdog’ woke up from his ordeal, eyed a bag of chips and asked if the surgery being finished meant he could play in his hockey game the following day. The doctors and nurses were impressed to the point that they called him BRAVER THAN BRAVE.
As his first post surgery words indicate Tucker Richard Wyatt Williams is not your average 7 year old. As anyone in the lacrosse or hockey world will attest to the youngest son of Shawn and Tamara Williams has been a force to be reckoned with since shortly after he left the womb.
Following in his father Shawn’s, poppa Greg’s, and older brother Dyson’s footsteps Tucker had a lacrosse stick in his hand before his cord was cut. As one of his coaches along with Steve Toll since tyke I can honestly say that not only does Tucker have the most natural talent for a player his age I have ever seen but he also has the leadership skills and traits of a great teammate that his father is famous for. Any coach in our tyke division will tell you than on most nights Tucker can score at will, however once the game is in hand, without any prompting from Coach Toll or myself Tucker’s focus shifts to helping some of our less talented players get opportunities to score. He shows a maturity well beyond his 7 years.
To put it bluntly this is simply unfair. No child should have to battle a disease like this. The impact on Tucker and his family is massive. While the family takes the brunt of the ordeal none of us could imagine how much impact it would have on others as well. It’s hard enough for all of us to try to process and understand why this is happening but trying to explain it to our children who have played hockey and lacrosse with Tucker why he won’t be at the game or birthday party is far more difficult than i ever imagined. It is probably fair to say that Tucker and Zackary Toll have seen each other 85% of the days since they have been alive. Neither deserve to have their routine broken up by this.
If a positive can be taken from this it’s that something I already believed has been confirmed in a massive scale. The lacrosse community are the greatest people on earth. Since the news of this terrible situation got out the outpouring of support has been so massive that it is difficult to keep up with. Between donations of cash and gifts, as well as help of any and every kind there is no doubt that the Williams family have more support than anyone could wish for.
This support is not limited to the lacrosse community but as far as we are concerned anyone who helps becomes an honorary member. I would love to individually name all of the people who have gone over and above but there are simply too many. Please know the Williams know who you are and are eternally grateful.
Because of the unexpected massive scale of the support we respectfully ask that rather than contacting Shawn or Tamara directly , or Carolyn Toll as we initially suggested , that any offers of support, notes to the family, or fundraising ideas be sent to an email we set up for this purpose.
email@example.com was created as a central hub to organize the tidal wave of support. Between myself, Steve and Carolyn Toll, and Scott Westley we will reply to each and every message received as soon as humanly possible and promise that any and all well wishes and notes of love and support will be delivered.
For anyone who wants to make a cash donation an account has been set up at The Royal Bank
Transit # 09847
Institution # 003
Account # 506-315-1
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