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May 29, 2014

DeAngelo Williams memorializes his mother in SI column

Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams lost his mother, Sandra Hill, after a long battle with breast cancer on May 16, but he continues to raise awareness for the disease that took his mother and four aunts.

In a column for Sports Illustrated's MMQB, Williams writes a first-person account of how he dealt with coming to terms with his mother's disease for nearly a decade, and he details the final days with her.

“This is what I want you to remember me by,” Hill said in her final days, according to Williams' column. “None of your aunties made it to the age of 50 and today I’m 53. I’ve stolen a few years and have enjoyed every minute, especially thanks to those two incredible granddaughters you’ve given me. You and your sisters are safe and know how to maintain and live and survive.

“My job here is done.”

Williams and HIll are credited with being the inspiration for the NFL allowing players to wear pink in October for breast cancer awareness month. The NFL began doing that in 2009.

Each October, Williams is usually asked to do various multiple media appearances. And despite the running back usually sticking to a strict one-media-availability-day-a-week, he welcomes any opportunity to get in front of a camera to raise awareness. 

He asks readers of the MMQB piece two things: To wear pink once a month and to ask five women you care about if they have gotten a mammogram lately for the purposes of early detection.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on May 29, 2014 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

Comments

Inspirational indeed!

Posted by: bobcats | May 29, 2014 12:19:02 PM

pure class.

Posted by: tony clifton | May 29, 2014 1:31:26 PM

Hope D Will just made some fans. PantherNation is proud to you.

Posted by: jason | May 29, 2014 1:44:26 PM

I saw DWill at the stadium while at the stadium for the Panthers Blood Drive on 5/1 (held each year on that day in memory of Sam ' #KeepPounding ' Mills) - he waved, spoke, and flashed his big smile...all while this was going on?!? CLASS that man!

Posted by: PSL Owner | May 29, 2014 1:46:24 PM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | May 30, 2014 9:01:54 AM

My heart goes out to you DeAngelo and applaud you for your strength to carry the message forward. I would also like to mention that the most important thing you can encourage your loved ones to do is get informed!! For example, there are doctors who now recommend getting ultra-sound rather than mammograms because if the tumor is really small (early detection), it may be missed by the mamo but will definitely show up in an ultra-sound. On the other hand, if it's large, the pressure the breast is subjected to during a mamo could cause it to rapture, etc, which is definitely not good. Also, for women a lot of these hormone-based cancers (breast, ovarian, uterine, etc) have A LOT to do with weight and nutrition deficiency, something you don't hear talked about much. There's also a perception now that breast cancer is one of the most survivable cancer, which is true but depending on a lot of things, it is also one of the most aggressive!! Please encourage your loved ones to get educated and take control of their own health!

Posted by: PantherGirl | May 30, 2014 12:10:55 PM

It takes a special person to be able to share his Mothers terminal illness, and also her passing , with his Panther fans. I have never witnessed such an empathetic person in my lifetime. God Bless you DeANGELO.

Posted by: Nancy Labul | May 30, 2014 3:54:10 PM

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