Valdosta Daily Times

September 16, 2013

Cancer takes a son away from his mother

Desiree Murphy
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Sylvia Williams recalls fondly the wonderful and loving ways of her son, Reggie. Pediatric cancer cut Reginald “Reggie” Corbett’s life short after only 10 years on this earth.

This sweet, kind, young man was diagnosed when he was just 8 years old. A brain tumor was detected behind his left ear. After a six-hour procedure, surgeons were able to remove all but a small portion of the tumor. However, in a rare situation, the tumor was connected to his blood vessels, which meant that it continued to spread throughout his body. Even during his battle, a smile never left the young boy’s face.

“He would never let you know he was in pain,” says Williams.

Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Reggie had his wish of attending Wrestlemania 28 in Miami, Fla., just two months before his passing. Meeting WWE superstar John Cena and staying in a hotel on the beach, Sylvia believes this was one of the best days of her young son’s life.

The WWE also sent a package full of autographed merchandise to Reggie, which he received the day before he died. After his passing, the WWE sent flowers to the family.

An outpouring from the Valdosta community fulfilled Reggie’s short life.

During his treatments, he rode horses at KB Horse Camp of Hahira and was given numerous gifts. One of his most prized possessions was his long-hair dachshund named Doc. After Reggie’s passing, his 14-year-old brother, Kyandre, also known as KJ, began caring for the dog.

Doc is now a service dog for KJ and acts as a calming mechanism for him. While KJ is currently in therapy to help cope with the loss of his brother, he still struggles to understand that Reggie is truly gone.

“Right before Reggie passed, he told KJ to just let him take a nap, and once he wakes up that he would play a game with him,” says a teary-eyed Sylvia.

Like many other families affected by childhood cancer, Sylvia Williams says she wasn’t aware of the prominence of pediatric cancer until it hit home.

In the future, she hopes there will be a cure to these traumatic diseases and that a pediatric cancer care center will open near Valdosta. The family held a candle-lighting ceremony in June in memory of Reggie, which she hopes will become an annual event.

“It’s rough,” says Sylvia Williams. “Even today, when I look over in the car, I think that he should be there.”