Jungmin William Hovis
Jungmin William Hovis was born on October 20, 2007, in Seoul, Korea. He came home to us in July of 2008, filling our home and our lives with joy, laughter, and love. Will grew up being a natural at almost everything, and in twelve years he played almost every known sport, hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, played the trumpet, whitewater rafted, snowboarded, snorkeled, surfed, fished, crabbed, and did a thousand other wonderful things a kid can do. In short, Will LIVED. But more important than what Will did in 12 years is the way he did it - most humbly, with grace, kindness, and an absolute joy for everything life has to offer. His smile, laugh, and love inspired everyone around him. A letter from his 5th grade teacher described him perfectly:
"I want to tell you very sincerely that I loved having Will in my class last year. He very truly brought sunshine with him from the very first day he walked in the class. Some kids are just like that. What was truly remarkable, days and weeks and months after his treatments started, was that he STILL brought sunshine with him into the classroom. Despite everything he goes through, it is in his nature to pick up the people around him."
William is missed beyond measure and continues to be loved deeply by his family and friends.
Will's family hopes that by sharing his story, and stories of other children with pediatric cancer, that people will understand that pediatric cancer does not discriminate – it can happen to anyone and it can come out of nowhere. A perfectly healthy, strong, joyful child can receive this awful diagnosis. Their hope is that people understand that childhood cancer is not something you can prevent, so we have to find less toxic and more effective treatments. To do this pediatric cancer has to have more funding. And they hope to never ever hear again that GBM, or any pediatric cancer, is rare – rare is horrific, rare steals lives, and rare is too many.
"As Will's parents it was our greatest honor to walk through life with him, to be with him in times of joy and sorrow, and to witness his incredible, unwavering spirit. For the rest of our lives we will try to Walk Like Will."
-Kristy Wallmo and Jerry Hovis, Will's Parent
Age at Diagnosis:
11 years old
Type of Brain Cancer:
Summary of Treatment:
William had a craniotomy in January 2019 followed by 6 weeks of radiation, then approximately 7 months of Temodar and Gleostine – chemotherapy. This is considered the Standard of Care for GBM. When it became clear around November of 2019 that his tumor was recurring, he was admitted into a clinical trial that targeted two of his mutations. He underwent a second craniotomy, and stayed in this trial until the end of January 2020, and when it was evident from his MRI that this treatment was not effective he was admitted into a trial for Optune, an electrical cap. He stayed on Optune for approximately 6 weeks, and then received two rounds of Avastin infusions. It was clear that Avastin was not having a significant effect, and we had to stop treatment for William in early March 2020.
Together we can save the lives of kids like Will.