Stillson, a 2014 graduate of PHS had completed an application for the Ounce of Prevention scholarship this year OOP founders and sisters Jessica Oliver and Jenny Houin were touched by the essay John had written for his application. Although he was not awarded the scholarship, they wanted to recognize him in a personal way.
Johns’s father, Dr. Tod Stillson explained that when John was about a year and a half old his mother, Jane was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was pregnant with their second child Jessica. Doctors wanted them to terminate the pregnancy but Tod and Jane faced the moral and spiritual dilemma. They were determined to allow their faith to guide them and decided to continue with the pregnancy. Jane was given chemo during her pregnancy but its affects did not harm the baby but they discovered that her hormones were actually aiding the cancer.
After delivering a healthy baby girl Jane immediately began the steps for a bone marrow transplant including a month of isolation. Things did not work out as the couple had hoped and on February 12, 1999 Jane Stillson lost her battle with cancer.
John’s essay, which his family had not read talked about his parent’s decision to trust in the Lord. This was not the end of John’s essay he also talked about how his family moved forward and his stepmother Ellen stepped in and has been the mother Jane would have been. Her love and devotion to their family is a special gift of God’s love.
The family talks openly and celebrates Jane’s life.
The bright pink bench made from recycled milk jugs by Jenny’s husband Chuck’s uncle is engraved with Ounce of Prevention and features a small plaque with Jon 16:33 which was part of John’s essay.
John Stillson was a National Merit Award winner and will be attending the University of Alabama. He received a 4 year scholarship valued at $144,500. John leaves next week and said he plans to study medicine and would like to be a missionary in Africa. He closed by saying, “I would like to build a hospital and help the people.”
The next Ounce of Prevention events are the September 25 PHS Girls Pink Soccer Game, October 17th the PHS Rockies Pink Football game and on October 18th the Tip if for TaTas party at Oliver Ford.