Jesse Williams had a kidney removed after being diagnosed with Papillary Type 2 cancer in May, was cleared for light workouts two weeks later, and now, the Seahawks defensive tackle has scaled the Space Needle in hopes of raising funds and awareness for the disease that still ails him.
Williams, a 2013 fifth-round draft pick of Seattle's who missed his first two NFL seasons with knee injuries, climbed 832 stairs to reach the top of Seattle's most-iconic location on Wednesday. He was joined by other recognizable faces from around the Seattle-area, including former Sounders FC players Roger Levesque and Taylor Graham, as a group of nine personalities provided a preview of the Space Needle's 'Base 2 Space' event benefiting Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
"I asked (my doctors) how you get stuff like this, and they said it's just purely bad luck," Williams recently said to Seahawks.com of his cancer diagnosis. "So hopefully they removed all that and I'm on the come-up for the rest of my career.
"I'm a pretty tough guy, so I can handle the cards I'm dealt and the situations I'm put in," he added. "I'm trying to make the most of the opportunities that I have. I'm still around, nothing's too drastic of life-threatening stuff right now, so I'm just taking it day by day and keeping myself positive, staying positive for my family and for myself. But yeah, I'm definitely looking forward to getting all cleared and getting back out there."
The 'Base 2 Space' climb, an open-air run (or walk) open to the first 3,000 individuals over the age of 14, is set to take place on Saturday, Oct. 3. It represents the first-ever opportunity for the public to ascend the Space Needle's stairs, which measure 52 stories from the building's ground level to its observation deck.
To register, head to Base2SpaceSeattle.com, where all donations raised will go directly to life-saving research at Fred Hutch.
Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams 'Set The Pace' for the Space Needle's 'Base 2 Space' event, an 832-stair climb to the top of Seattle's most iconic location set to take place this October benefiting life-saving cancer research.