We are saddened to announce that Denise's battle ended on 1/6/21
Please pray for her family as they grieve
Read the summary at the end of the article for more info...
It was 2019 and Larry Wiliams was going about life when those dreaded words came..."It's cancer..." and the journey for the Williams family began...
Larry became a client of Gilead Ministries.
Since that time, he's joined the ranks of the hundreds of survivors.
But the Wiliams family are not strangers to Gilead.
Larry and Denise have been a part of the Annual "Cruisin' To Care" car show for years. Cancer patient cars are featured on the annual t-shirt, this year Larry was one of the three patients whose car was on the shirt.
For Denise, cancer was familiar, through Larry's journey she was his encourager and support.
But, after having some health, a colonoscopy was ordered earlier this year.
The colonoscopy itself didn't show cancer, then things took a turn for the worse.
Surgery was needed to remove twelve inches of her colon and Denise's future was altered and the dreaded words, "It's cancer..."
She joined the ranks that no one wants to belong to... Now, she is a Gilead client...
Larry works hard to return the love he was shown during his own cancer journey as he takes over home duties such as cooking, dishes, and cleaning. He plans to conquer Laundry soon, he said.
"I was scared," said Williams. "But then I got a great doctor, Dr. Reinhart, in Ft. Wayne, IN."
"He assured me I would be well taken care of through this whole cancer and treatment journey."
Sharing the news with her immediate family was devastating.
Those words, "it's cancer," are never easy to share.
It now became their cancer battle as well.
Her family has stepped up in wonderful ways to support and uplift Denise as she faces a new reality.
"They rallied around me in huge support from all of them." Williams said of her family.
"Their love and encouragement meant I wasn't going through this alone."
Denis's niece, Janet, works as an oncology nurse at a hospital in another state. She helped walk Williams through the steps and what she might face doing chemo treatment.
She had questions about how long all of this would take. She faced several surgeries at three different hospitals. Twelve inches of colon, an ovary, and 14 polyps were removed.
She said of the surgeries... "They've knocked me for a loop." The fatigue was something she has wrestled with.
She just had her 4th chemo treatment recently. Next doctor appointment, she will find out what the next steps will be on this cancer journey.
What she would like others to know is to "Never give up!"
No matter how tough it is and what you may have to go through.
For Denise and her family, their battle will continue, and they need your prayers and support. (READ BELOW ARTICLE FOR UPDATE)
Written by our warrior/survivor Kim Ousley.
(staff edited for updates and for our warriors blog)
For the many who loved Denise, this Christmas holiday set into motion a much feared course of events...
After having more problems with her cancer journey, Denise was admitted to Lutheran Hospital to try to rehydrate her and get her feeling better.
The efforts were heroic and Denise was giving all she had, but her body was worn and her spirit was failing.
During this time Denise had many family visiting and she was being made comfortable in her current turmoil and pain.
One day her son AJ spoke with his mom and asked her to pray with him. Denise prayed and gave her life to Jesus that day.
At her funeral, Bill Sparks, our director, shared the reality of Denise's victory over death and encouraged all those present, especially her family, to make plans to join Denise in heaven.
AJ shared his heart about the song which was on his mind the day he invited his mom to place faith in Jesus..."What a day that will be, when my Jesus I say see..." were the words of the old hymn that comforted AJ.
Though Denise was loved and will be missed, her family, Larry her husband, Sherri her daughter, Ryan and AJ her sons, are glad that she is no longer in pain.
Denise graduated to heaven on Thursday, January 6, 2022.
She now rests in the arms of the Savior in a place where death is no more.