• Local cancer survivor goes on to college with help from Jay Fund

    By: John Bachman

    Updated:

    A local high school graduate got all A's and was a leader at her school, but cancer almost kept her from going to college.

    The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund helped her heal and is now helping her pay for school.

    August Williams was 11 when she was diagnosed with cancer.

    "It's a more rare type of Leukemia," said Williams.

    She fought it for more than 3 years.

    "I had a lot of chemo and cranial radiation-- a lot of side effects. I lost my hair twice."

    She not only lost her hair from the treatment, she temporarily lost her ability to walk and write. 

    But none of that kept her from school for long. She put on a hat and pushed forward.

    "I've always been a goal oriented person. Set a goal and then I achieve it," said Williams.

    She said that sometimes meant doing homework in the hospital during treatments. Nurses would help her with math and science.

    But even after all A's and countless activities in high school, including choir, band, and soccer to name a few, cancer almost kept her from her dream of college.

    Cancer had taken its toll on her body and her parents' savings. 

    "When I got cancer my dad wasn't able to work as often as he would like because he was helping me,” said Williams. “Helping me cope."

    The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund helped her get through the hard times with cancer and now the local charity is giving her one more push with a scholarship.

    "Getting this scholarship in general is pretty much what's helping me to go to college," said Williams.

    She plans to go to the University of Georgia and double major in theater and computer animation.

    "When I was sick, I'd watch animated movies and it'd put a smile on my face,” said Williams. “It'd be cool to make movies like that and put smiles on other kids' faces like they did for me.”

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