Will Morgan’s shy smile and polite, soft-spoken commentary belies his near-celebrity status. Since learning last year that he had Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, the Merriman Park Elementary seventh grader has received an outpouring of support from the Lake Highlands neighborhood, mom Renee Long says. “We really want to thank the community. When Will was diagnosed, we asked for prayers … when I started seeing all the people rallying around us, I knew that Christ was at work and that we could use this to share his message.”

Merriman Park Elementary, the Forest Meadow Junior High Football Team, the Lake Highlands High School Football team and the Spring Valley Athletic Association, where Will once played football, have all shown their support by wearing “Will to Win” stickers and T-shirts designed by Keith Beasley, father of Will’s friend Braden Beasley. Will received cards, video tributes (a nice one from MPE principal Laurie Taylor) and posters, several made during a girls’ slumber party. Parents of classmates often showed up with dinners or books needed for lessons.

Last November, Will joined the LHHS football team as an honorary captain, and in May, “Team Will”, comprised of 60-some friends and family members, raised more than $16,000 for the DFW CureSearch Walk benefiting pediatric cancer research. This summer, Will is finished with chemotherapy and things are starting to get back to normal, his stepdad Sam Long says. He will need to return to Medical City for checkups and at least one more surgical procedure. Will doesn’t seem to fear future hospital visits, noting that Medical City recently remodeled the pediatric wing.

Rather than feeling down about his health struggles, Will views his experience as a chance to help other kids like him, he says. “Helping other people makes me feel good.”