Fuquay-Varina woman battling stage 4 cancer fulfills dream of becoming a firefighter

Tamara Scott Image
Friday, December 3, 2021
Woman battling stage 4 cancer realizes dream of being a firefighter
Summer Williams of Fuqua-Varina knew she wanted to be a firefighter early in life and she wasn't going to let stage 4 cancer stop her from completing the training.

FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WTVD) -- A woman in Fuquay Varina has finally fulfilled her dream of becoming a firefighter all while battling stage 4 cancer.

Summer Williams knew she wanted to be a firefighter early in life.

She set her sights on wearing the uniform full time since high school, but a diagnosis of a rare form of skin cancer set her back.

In 2018, she was diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma, a rare type of skin cancer. and when she went into remission she started the fire academy, but in 2019, the cancer came back.

Giving up is not in her nature, so she fought the disease and worked hard to complete training.

"I just love to show anyone what I can do," said Williams

In between chemotherapy and even brain surgery to remove a tumor in May, she was determined to finish training.

But in October, another curveball -- the cancer returned -- and this time, it's not operable.

"It's definitely a little bit more nerve-wracking because this one is not operable," she said.

Her new family at the firehouse helped her finally finish the training

"We decided we would take that class with her. We are a big family that's it," said Fuquay-Varina Fire Chief Tony Mauldin.

Williams received an outstanding achievement award at a recent Wake County Fire Commission meeting.

She said that with continued support from her wife and other family members, she'll keep showing her girl power.

"It doesn't matter who or how old you are, whatever you can always, you can always do it," she said.