- Posted August 11, 2014 by
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Robin Williams, A Huge Heart
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
In 2001 my nephew, David, was diagnosed with a cancer so rare that there were only fifty know cases, Hepatosplenic T-cell, gamma delta lymphoma. The median life span was twelve to fourteen months. There were no survivors. David said that he didn't want to just disappear and decided that he would help build a new Ronald McDonald house in New York before anything happened to him. We reached out to many individuals to help bolster David's spirits during his year long battle while he was in New York at Sloan Kettering Memorial hospital. One of those we reached was Robin Williams. Robin was enormously generous in donating items to the fundraising effort we put together. When David was suffering at his worst Robin would call him to perk him up. David treasured Robin's calls and it helped to push him forward. David underwent chemo therapy, radiation therapy, two stem cell transplants, a monoclonal antibody therapy, and he had his spleen removed. Not long after David left the hospital Robin invited him to his 2002 HBO special, Live on Broadway. After the show Robin spent an inordinate amount of time with David, telling him how happy he was that David was there. David responded, "You're happy I'm here?" Robin Williams play a significant role in helping David through this terrible time. David ended up surviving this cancer. His cancer is considered to be the first cure in history and today he is married and has two children. The protocol used on David has been used on other patients diagnosed with this cancer. Robin Williams touched people's lives in ways so significant and wonderful that it very well could be that he wasn't even aware of how much good he did. We'll miss you, Robin.
(Photo of Robin and David backstage at Robin Williams Live on Broadway, 2002)