Pat Williams, senior vice president of the Orlando Magic, has been diagnosed with a blood and bone marrow cancer called multiple myeloma. The 70-year-old Orlando Magic legend, who has written more than 70 books, run dozens of marathons and raised 19 children, is undergoing chemotherapy.
“We have launched the treatment as fast and directly as possible,’’ Williams told Orlando Magic reporter John Denton. “The mission is remission. That’s the goal. Dr. Reynolds indicated to me that by June he’d have a pretty good picture of where we stand. He thinks the percentages are good, we can get (remission) accomplished and I’m living with that hope right now.’’
Williams has more than 48 years of professional sports experience to his credit and spearheaded Orlando’s effort to get an NBA franchise in 1986. The 70-year-old protégé of the late Bill Veeck is probably most known for his promotional and marketing wizardry. Williams is also considered one of the country’s top motivational and inspirational public speakers. His wife, Ruth, teaches time management seminars for the FranklinCovey Company.
“The only pain that I have is in my lower back area and some days are better than others,’’ Williams said. “I’m finding that there’s a pattern of pain in my lower back and it’s intense at times.’’
Williams’ baseball career began when he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1962 and spent two seasons catching for the Miami Marlins, a Class A club in the Florida State League. He quickly moved from the playing field to the front office, when he was appointed business manager of Miami in 1964. He took the general manager job with the Spartanburg (S.C.) Phillies in 1965 and was later elevated to the position of president of the organization in 1967.
“What this whole thing has proven to me is that we can make all the plans that we want in life and then just sit back and listen to God laugh,’’ said Williams. “As the new year approached I certainly did not have this as part of my 2011 agenda. Now, me and Mr. Myeloma are partners and we’ll be linked together for the rest of life. I’m just asking friends and associates to pour a little prayer support into old Pat and ask the great physician for His healing touch. That’s my prayers right now.”