William Whiteside - Father, Veteran, Team Roper, Cancer Fighter

Categories: Inspiration, Overcoming
Date: 23 Dec 2014 13:42

Original post: April 25, 2014

“SAYiWON’T has a very special meaning to me. As I was growing up, I lost my father to a gun shot when I was 3 and my mother lost the battle to breast cancer when I was 12. My entire life I have learned to live on my own and try to make my parents proud. I am now a father as well and I want to ensure that my son will always beat all odds and strive to be the best man he can be everyday of his life. I could have given up on life a long time ago, but when someone tells me I can’t do something, or it’s too hard, or I am not good enough, that always pushes me to do that much better. After my last surgery, I was told it would be 6-8 weeks before I could get on a horse. At 3 weeks and 2 days I was roping again. At just under 4 weeks I was back competing. I refuse to let things affect me in a negative way. You only live once, and I dare you to tell me I can’t or won’t do something. SAY I WON’T and I will prove to you I can and I will against all odds.” 

William started team roping when he was 14, and won the #7 USTRC in Albuquerque his junior year in high school. Shortly after graduation, he joined the United States Navy and served for 17 years. Last year he was medically retired after 11 surgeries, a couple bullet holes, broken back, and having his neck and shoulder reconstructed twice. William states, “In 2008 I broke my L1-L2 in my back and C-1 in my neck. Not only did I recover, I deployed to Iraq 9 months later to defend my country and carry out my mission. I refused to let that keep me from fighting for the freedom my family and my country deserves.” He continues, “Nothing will ever keep me from living my life. After all of that, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer on Jan 3rd of this year. I went into emergency surgery to remove the tumor on Jan 8th. The test showed that they did not get all the cancer so I went into another major surgery on March 4th to remove my lymph nodes in my stomach area. I was told I would be out for at least 6 weeks. Last Thursday, just over three weeks after my surgery, I got back on a horse and started roping again. I attended the Benton City roping and took second in the #8 and won the #4. I am due to start chemotherapy on Apr. 14th to get rid of any cancer that might be left in my body. But just like before, I refuse to let this get to me or affect my life. So the motto of Say I Won’t, well hell what can I say, is mighty fitting.”

William is currently sitting 4th in the team roping Northwest Division 2.

When asked to describe himself in one word, he replied, “DETERMINED!!!” SAY I WON’T!


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