On April 13th, Gateway Intermediate School (IS) 364 hosted their annual Malcolm Williams memorial basketball game in the Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC). The event was held in honor of Malcolm J. Williams, who passed away in 2016 from cancer complications.
Williams, a graduate of IS 364, was 15 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. The specific type of disease he had was osteosarcoma, which is a form of bone cancer that affects fewer than 20,000 people per year, according to Mayo Clinic. Williams often played sports, so when his leg began to hurt one day, he merely thought it was just muscle pains because of his active lifestyle. However, when those aches did not cease and his leg became swollen, he had extensive medical tests conducted.
After several doctor visits and an MRI, Williams was given the diagnoses of osteosarcoma. He took the news in stride and never let the disease dampen his spirits. He continued playing sports and staying active until the disease wouldn’t allow him to do so anymore. “He was always in good spirits. He was a fighter that never let anything get him down,” said his mother, Carolyn.
In commemoration of Williams steadfast determination to not let cancer define him, and his furious battle with the disease, his fellow students and teachers at IS 364 remember him through various community activities, like their annual basketball game, in hopes of spreading cancer awareness.
On the day of the event, most of IS 364 filled the Brooklyn Sports Club’s gymnasium to watch the memorial basketball game between students and staff. Prior to the game, Physical Education Instructor, Parnel Legros, made a poignant speech about Malcolm and asked that everyone bow their heads for a moment of silence. The school’s staff then presented the Williams family with a plaque, which said, “Do not be afraid to dream big, be strong, be courageous and be outstanding in everything you do. In loving memory of Malcolm Williams, February 25, 2001 – August 25, 2016.”
Carolyn Williams leaves this message for her son, “My forever 15, gone but never forgotten. I love you my son, forever and ever. I can still hear your voice. I miss you so much; no one will ever know how much I miss you. You are my angel, now you are watching over me. I tell you goodnight every night and that I love you to the moon and back. There’s no one that can take your place, your still my Malcolm in the Middle.”
To help make a difference in children’s cancer research and to keep Malcolm’s memory alive, Carolyn Williams and her family will be raising money for pediatric cancer research through the Kids Walk on May 5th. Their team name is #E4M, which stands for Everything for Malcolm. If you would like to donate or join their team, visit http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/RunsampWalks/KidsWalk?pg=team&fr_id=3102&team_id=63072
Photos by Amanda Moses