He was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.
Now entertainer Antoine Williams is seeking to build greater public awareness about the disease.
“When people hear Stage 4 cancer they think you’re going to die immediately, but you can die at any stage,” Williams, the public relations officer for Cancer Support Services, said this morning during a press conference called to announce plans for the organization’s sixth annual conference on June 24 at the Accra Beach Hotel.
“Stage 4 only means the cancer has moved from the original location to another,” he explained, adding that “my dietician also said to me that most of the time, cancer patients die from stress and malnutrition . . . because they sit and worry about their condition, and they don’t eat well because there is conflict over what they should eat and what they should avoid”.
Williams, whose diagnosis this year was followed by a national fundraising effort in support of surgery, thanked Barbadians for their support saying: “It has been truly heartwarming, even in the simplest ways, when I get people stopping to say, ‘we wish you well.’”
He also admitted that it had been a trying time for him, but assured that he was not about to give up.
“Having been diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer, then having to learn it has spread to the liver, does bring about some fear and worry, but not to the point where I am ready to shut down and say, ‘that is the end of it,’” he explained.
With a view to helping others who are faced with similar health challenges, he announced that through his association with Surgical Solutions, “we are going to be launching an initiative that speaks
directly to colon cancer, stressing early detection and screening and bringing
some sense of understanding about the condition.
“I am perhaps perfectly poised to be the spokesperson since I have a personal experience, and as soon as we are ready, we will launch that,” he said.
The upcoming conference, which has as its theme, It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, will hear from several speakers, including Williams and another cancer patient, Rosalind Griffith, along with Reverend Paul Leacock and several medical professionals.
Asked whether the austerity measures introduced in the recent Budget would affect the organization, Williams said: “We have not discussed it fully at the executive level yet, but we are mindful that it will affect us in some way.
“Health care is expensive and if our corporate donors are having challenges, we may see support declining. Nevertheless, we have to continue our work.”