A patient ambassador finds multiple ways to give back to the place that saved her life
Cook Children’s did so much for me. They saved my life, literally. I am happy to be able to give back to Cook Children’s.” – Lilli, cancer survivor and patient ambassador
For Lilli Williams, giving back to Cook Children’s is her way of helping kids like her.
In 2018, Lilli noticed a lump on her back. Her pediatrician ordered X-rays and referred the family to
Cook Children’s Orthopedics, thinking it might be a broken rib. An MRI determined the lump was actually a mass that needed to be surgically removed, and the mass, unfortunately, turned out to be cancerous.
Lilli was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones, when she was just 13 years old. The following week, she had additional surgeries to remove the cancer, and she started chemotherapy the week after that.
In total, Lilli underwent nine months of chemotherapy and five surgeries.
“Through my treatment, there was a lot of stress on me and my body, but everyone there — the staff doctors, Child Life specialists, dogs, everyone — made it not as bad,” recalled Lilli. “I mean, it’s cancer treatment, so it’s pretty bad, but they made it a fun experience even though it was a really tough time. Honestly, I can’t remember much of the chemo just because I had fun there.”
In January 2019, Lilli’s doctors found no evidence of disease and she had her last round of chemotherapy on April 5, 2019.
Just a few months later, Lilli started serving as a patient ambassador for Cook Children’s. She shared her story at events across the community, helping to raise awareness and funds for Cook Children’s. You also may recognize Lilli from her starring role in one of her Cook Children’s commercials.
Lilli graduated from Granbury High School this year, where she was a member of the varsity softball team. For the past four years, Lilli has participated in the team’s Go Gold for Childhood Cancer Night, which raises awareness for pediatric cancers and funds for Cook Children’s.
“I love telling all the softball girls about my journey at Cook Children’s and everything they have done for me,” said Lilli. “Every year, we have our Go Gold game and all of the money goes to Cook Children’s. I really love doing that because I know that it goes toward something good.”
At the Go Gold game, the Pirate Softball Booster Club collects donations from the community, sells t-shirts and donates the proceeds from the game’s concession sales. Since 2020, they have donated over $3,000 to help patients like Lilli and other members of the team who have also received care at Cook Children’s. We are so grateful for the many ways that Lilli has chosen to give back to Cook Children’s. Her story has inspired so many people and will continue to make an impact on our patients for a long time.