MADILL, Okla. (KFOR) – Madill 9-year-old, Will Hughes and his twin sister, Cora have a real zest for life.
Their hobbies and activities include golf, hockey, football, cheerleading, hunting, pets and more.
But that life of constant motion came to a screeching halt in November 2020.
“It’s a year we all remember,” said Will’s dad, Billy Hughes. “I ran into friends at the store and they immediately mentioned that Will’s color did not look good. We are his parents, so I guess we didn’t notice the subtle changes. We immediately took him to the doctor. That’s when we heard the words, ‘Your child has cancer. Leukemia.'”
After that stunning revelation, Billy and Jenny broke the news to Will.
Billy recalls, “We went into the room and were honest with him, and said ‘Buddy, you’re sick, you’re really sick and if you don’t do everything these doctors say, you’re going to die.’ He looked at us and said ‘Let’s do it.'”
That journey began at OU Children’s hospital and then Jimmy Everest Cancer Center.
Along with chemotherapy, Will required steroids which had an immediate impact.
“We were going to get the Braum’s $5 bag of burgers and 72 Chick-Fil-A nuggets everyday as snacks between his main meals of spaghetti and meatballs,” said Billy.
Jenny added, “He had a hard time walking. He was hurting all over.”
The first six months of chemo and therapies didn’t get easier, but the Hughes family found lighter moments.
Will decided to shave his head, leaving a distinctive mohawk down the center of his scalp.
“He had a warrior Will thing going, and the mohawk really fit that,” laughed Billy.
Will’s distinctive style, along with his medical battle drew the attention of his National Hockey League hero, Quinn Hughes, who followed Will’s story in Instagram.
Will got a chance to meet him in person during an NHL game in Dallas!
On top of that, the OSU Football team embraced Will as well, encouraging him and meeting him in person as well.
Will also remembers fondly how his neighborhood welcomed him home for a long hospital stay.
“All the neighborhood kids, there was a line of cars around the neighborhood and a sign up when I came home,” Will said.
No one is happier that Will is feeling better these days than his sister, Cora.
“I’m excited that he is doing good and is about to be done,” she said.
His dad had tears brimming in his eyes when he said, “You’re living test result by test result in the beginning. And now here we are!”
Will still has a few months of maintenance treatment ahead, but now he is able to look down the fairway to a long life ahead.
His dad adds “I get goose bumps. It’s a day we’ve been waiting two and a half years for.”
If you’d like to help kids like Will fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.org.