Since 2012, Foundation Beyond Belief has organized an international Light The Night team to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Every year, we select an Honored Hero to dedicate our efforts. This year we have selected David Willis, who was the team captain of the Foundation Beyond Belief Light The Night team in Salt Lake City in 2012 and 2013 and passed away in June after an 8 ½ year battle with leukemia.
David generously shared his story on his Light The Night fundraising page, the Foundation Beyond Belief blog and in a video. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2005 and participated in a ground-breaking clinical trial that modified his T-cells to specifically target cancer cells in 2013. He helped us promote Light The Night as well as raise awareness of Be The Match, a bone marrow donor registry. With his help, Foundation Beyond Belief raised over $500,000 for LLS in 2013; he personally raised over $1000 last year alone.
David went to Utah State University and graduated with a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 2010; he continued his schooling through his chemotherapy treatments. More recently he worked at a company called Wavetronix making radar based sensors the help with the safety and efficiency of traffic. In his spare time, he enjoyed skiing, biking, playing guitar and piano, racquetball, and disc golf. He loved science and trying to solve math problems that haven’t been solved yet. He was ceaselessly optimistic and selfless and will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. He would have celebrated his 27th birthday on June 24.