Montel Williams & Daughter Once Painfully Opened up about Her Double Cancer Fight

Maressa Williams, the daughter of former TV host Montel Williams, was first diagnosed with cancer at age 24. She fought the disease twice, and the experience drove her to make a career in the healthcare system while trying to help others, just like her father does with his MS advocacy.

When Montel Williams appeared on the Dr. Oz show in 2013 with his then 24-year-old daughter, he couldn’t help but get emotional as he revealed the motive of his visit.

Montel Williams at the premiere of War, Inc. at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.| Photo: Wikimedia Commons Images

Montel Williams at the premiere of War, Inc. at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.| Photo: Wikimedia Commons Images

Maressa had been diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph tissue. Holding back the tears, Montel explained that the diagnosis could have arrived too late if it weren’t for a wild night out Maressa had with her friends.

The young woman recalled that she injured her back while partying, and after a visit to the chiropractor, and a series of MRIs, doctors discovered a mass in her chest and within minutes, were discussing the possibility of it being cancer.

Montel, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1999, said “I just thought, I have already paid the price in this department. So why her?”

“When I was first diagnosed, I was angry. I felt sick. I felt vulnerable and lost. I switched back and forth between laughter and tears, simultaneously feeling devastated, hopeful, and confused,” Maressa recalled on a blog entry for Everyday Health. And continued:

“Fortunately, both of my parents were with me in the office when I heard the news. We were all in tears, and my dad kept repeating, almost as a mantra, that I wouldn’t be alone in getting through this and that they would support me throughout the whole process.”

After going through chemotherapy, Maressa entered remission, but a few months later, cancer returned. She managed to beat the disease once again, and to this day, she’s as healthy as can be.

However, the experience changed Maressa’s point of view in life. She became a nursing student and an ambassador for the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

“Through my own journey, it became even more important to do whatever I could to help, educate, and be an advocate for not only patients but their families as well,” Maressa states.

Last year, the now 31-year-old joined the nonprofit global marketplace, iCause, which focuses on making an impact and building communities, with engagement and incentives for individuals, nonprofits, educational institutions, CSR companies, and philanthropists.

Maressa is undoubtedly a fighter, just like her dad, who is also helping others by spreading awareness through the MS Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a focus on research and education about multiple sclerosis. 

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