Williams Overcomes Life-Threatening Illness to Succeed in Football


Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:39 pm
By: News On 6


Originally Published: Jun 15, 2010 10:5 AM CDT

Russell Barber, Video My Life

Special Contributor for Oklahoma Sports


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Brandon Williams' parents are no strangers to big crowds. Born in Philadelphia, PA and Atlantic City, NJ, both decided to leave the hustle and bustle of big cities to live the quieter life found in Oklahoma. In a town where football is king, the Williams' would eventually find themselves back in crowds of thousands of people as they watched their 2010 senior son run the football for his hometown Jenks High School team.

Brandon’s mom ran track in middle school and his father studied karate. The Williams’ trophy case includes Brandon’s state AAU 198 lb.-class weight lifting records in the squat and dead lift of 503 and 465 pounds, respectively. Yes, the Williams’ have always met challenges head on, an approach to life that would steady them during one fateful day that would surely test the family’s metal.

After a January 2010 trip to the doctor to discuss rib pain, a cyst was discovered growing inside Brandon’s chest. The culprit of his discomfort was embedded behind Brandon’s heart and lung and had attached itself to nerves. The Williams would muster their culture of training and discipline to prepare for the biggest contest this student athlete would face in his young life, a critically challenging operation to remove the softball-sized intruder. As he does each pre-game Brandon prepared his spirit, mind and body by offering his future to God, praying for a peace he receives only through Jesus Christ.

Brandon’s prayers were answered. Doctors successfully removed the non-malignant tumor that had been quietly growing inside of Brandon since childbirth. A five-day hospital stay would afford Brandon the recovery period even the strongest of young men would need after taking on this worthy if evil opponent. Now running, lifting weights, and playing basketball Brandon is recovering from his surgery ahead of the schedule doctors had hoped for and looks forward to a successful senior campaign in the classroom on the gridiron. After high school Brandon plans on playing college football while studying for a career in dentistry.

Brandon likens this experience to one play of which he has always been particularly proud. Finding their backs to the wall in last year’s playoff game against Yukon the Trojans called Brandon’s number. He took the handoff from inside the end zone and burst out to around the 20-yard line giving his team new life. Because of his choices, his family, his doctors and his Savior, Brandon is once again ready to step under the bright lights of the big stage.