Upward and outward. Those two simple words sum up the life Scott Williams has chosen to live. Three years ago, Scott received a brain cancer diagnosis that would bring many people to their knees in despair. Instead, this diagnosis has taken Scott on a journey of hope.
Scott and his wife, Ellie, have been married for over 30 years and serve together on the staff of FamilyLife, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International. At 60, Scott was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. With brain surgery followed by treatments, Scott and his medical team were able to hold off the cancer for over two years before another tumor appeared. This tumor was then successfully removed in 2021, but costly treatments continue.
“We didn’t know what to expect as far as medical bills but as they started to come in, they were in the thousands of dollars and they kept coming,” Scott reflects. “Thankfully we have good insurance but what insurance doesn’t cover, CaringWays has, and that has taken a lot of the burden off, a lot of the stress. Stress is one of the main things to avoid with any type of cancer but particularly my type of brain cancer.”
The founders of CaringWays created the company in part to alleviate the stress that comes with mounting debt created by major health issues. CaringWays is committed to providing hope for those in need so that they can focus on the fight and not the finances.
CaringWays’ mission is also reflected in Scott’s efforts to provide hope for others in similar situations. Scott has made it his mission to raise funds for research toward a cure for glioblastoma cancer by cycling the Natchez Trace Parkway. He’s doing this alongside Olympic Gold medalist, Scott Hamilton, whose CARES Foundation is supporting the 444-mile “Erase The Trace” journey.
“When you get a diagnosis like glioblastoma, you know your days are numbered and it puts everything into fast motion,” Scott shares. “I started thinking about something that I’d always wanted to do. I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi not far from part of the Natchez Trace Parkway. And I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to do the entire trek from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee and raise money for a cure.”
Scott took his idea to the CARES Foundation and got an immediate positive response and the “Erase The Trace” charity bike ride was born. But for Scott, it’s more than just a long bike ride. He is honoring others by riding from milepost to milepost with a specific person affected by cancer in mind, and they know that he’s riding for them.
“As I hear from so many people around the world [on social media] who are battling glioblastoma, there’s such hopelessness because you always get all the bad news first. You’re told there’s no known cure, probably live a few months, maybe a few years if you’re lucky. So, because of the hope that I had, I thought I can reach out to encourage others. And I realized I could use this ride, not just to raise money but to raise hope and people’s spirits.”
CaringWays also helps raise spirits and lower stress by offering support to people like Scott.
“A lot of people that I’m meeting in Facebook support groups are in the same situation that Ellie and I are in,” Scott considers. “They’re faced with a lot of big medical bills and some out-of-pocket expenses that are going to be difficult for them to cover. To have access to a platform like CaringWays, something to lift that burden off their shoulders, to lower their stress levels, to give them a better chance to survive and thrive, I think would be a blessing to a lot of them. If they knew about CaringWays, I think that would really help them in their journey.”