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Taking the fight to D.C.

Jessica Marion remembers her son William as a fighter and it’s that fighting spirit that is taking her to Washington, D.C., to become an advocate for childhood cancer.

“My son taught me so much about strength and bravery,” she said. “So, I’m stepping out and doing what I believe he would want me to do.”

William fought rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft-tissue childhood cancer, and he passed away earlier this month.

Make-A-Wish Alabama was contacted by staff members at USAChildren’s & Women’s Hospital, and Mobile Fire-Rescue took a trip on a real fire engine before his death.

“I want become an advocate for other families who have gone, are going and will go through this cancer journey,” she said. “Not all are able to step out and up about the lack of funds so I’m willing to do that for them and also in honor of my son.”

Jessica will travel to Washington, D.C., next month to join other parents for advocacy training and they will lobby Congress to the STAR Act passed.

“The Star Act for survivorship treatment access and research,” she said.

Jessica needed to raise $125 and on Tuesday morning, she had raised $650.

“I already exceeded my goal within an hour,” she said. “Every little bit over $125 goes to childhood cancer research.”

Jessica said that with the advocacy training she wants to help other families who have gone through the battle of having a child with cancer.

“The goal is to do advocacy,” she said. “We are working to take William’s Warriors and make it into a non-profit organization to help other families and St. Baldricks. We had help and we just want to be able to help others and be supportive.”

Jessica said that William was a huge fighter.

“He really fought until the end,” she said. “With him having that spirit, I want to keep going. I want to keep fighting not only in his honor but other families. I don’t want anyone to feel the way we have. I can’t find a cure, but I want the research to be better and there to be more options for other families.”

Jessica said that childhood cancer research is extremely underfunded.

“I’m raising money for childhood cancer research,” she said. “Did you know that kids’ cancers are different from adult cancers? It’s true. So, I decided to do something about it by raising money for cures.”

To donate, visit https://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/williamsmom.