Billy, Age 22, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Faith in the darkest hour

(2005) Bill and Kim Nash remember all too well the sinking feeling that swallowed them up when they were told that their 2-year-old, Billy, had cancer.

Billy, Age 22, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)“I always thought that cancer was an adult disease,” said Kim.  “I never dreamed that a disease called Leukemia would attack my son.  As parents, we all expect our kids to get bumps, bruises and runny noses – not cancer.”

Billy Nash was a patient at Texas Children’s Cancer Center almost 20 years ago when survival rates for acute lymphoblastic leukemia were only 50 percent. Today, survival rates are close to 70 or 80 percent.

“It was a black and white scenario – there was no gray area,” said Bill Nash, Billy’s dad. “We had to face the fact that our son had a 50 percent chance of living or dying. It was a very scary time for us – our darkest hour.”

It was during this darkest hour that the Nash family leaned on their faith – faith in God, faith in the doctors and faith in each other.

Miraculously, Billy responded to his very first treatment of chemotherapy and his cancer cells went into immediate remission.  Bill and Kim were stunned and couldn’t believe that their son had healed so quickly. But they did not take any chances. They continued to bring Billy to the Cancer Center to receive the two years of prescribed therapy.

During those years spent coming to the Cancer Center, the Nash family befriended Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer.

“Dr. ZoAnn (as Bill fondly calls her) has so much compassion for every family she comes in contact with,” said Bill.  “We just love her. What she does daily for kids with cancer is simply amazing. We treasure our relationship with her.”

In fact, it was Dr. Dreyer that inspired Bill and Kim Nash, country songwriters/singers, to write a song titled Friend.

“This song is about needing a friend when you have to face a mountain in your life such as we faced with our son,” said Kim. “It’s about having someone there you can count on when you really need them the most and to us, that’s someone like our friend Dr. Dreyer.”

Today, while his parents and younger brother, Jimmy, are writing and producing songs for the likes of Diamond Rio and Reba McEntire, as well as performing their own original songs in churches and conventions nationwide, Billy is pursuing a professional golfing career and is looking forward to what the future will bring.

When asked what advice she would give mothers who just learned of her child’s cancer diagnosis, Kim says that she’d tell them “to take a deep breath, be thankful to have a place like Texas Children’s Hospital to bring your child to, do what the doctors tell you to do, and most importantly, lean on God, friends and family.”