Cancer License Plate Causes Ruckus

There are many things in life that cause an uproar: people screaming and yelling at one another, your anti-theft detection system in your car blaring the car horn, a wrong call given by a referee in a Super Bowl game, and so on. Uproars, however, can also occur by way of a license plate.

Just ask Nick Williams.

A 32-year-old Oklahoma resident, Nick Williams has been “fighting the good fight” against brain cancer, a rather humiliating disease. He has undergone chemotherapy treatments and has had brain surgery to remove the tumors in his brain. Doctors were only able to eliminate 60%; the other 40% will remain in his brain for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, there are such things as “inoperable tumors” in existence, and there is nothing doctors can do for patients in an inoperable state.

In such circumstances, cancer survivors need tangible reminders of their past victories against the disease, and encouragement and inspiration for the future. For some, it consists of inspirational poems by Emily Matthews, cancer support groups, and conversations with family and friends or a few field trips each year. For Nick Williams, however, it’s a license plate.

If you ever witness Nick Williams driving down the street, you will notice that his license plate stands out from the crowd; his plate says “F CANCR,” a plate message that may sound terrible at first. Some believe that the license plate message is offensive because it has the letter “F” and leaves it to the human imagination to fill in the missing three letters (to create the four-letter curse word your mama told you not to say in school or out loud at the dinner table). Nick Williams, however, doesn’t mean for the message to come out this way. The “F” does not stand for a bad four-letter word, but for a strong five-letter word: “F-I-G-H-T,” reminding him each day to continue fighting against cancer.

Let’s take a step back and consider his circumstances: why would he use the four-letter forbidden word beside cancer? After all, cancer is nothing to snuff at. Considering that he is battling for his life, the disease is nothing to blow off or laugh at. It seems that he really is reminding himself to fight cancer. At the same time, however, the language does leave a negative thought in the minds of many. In this day and age, the letter (left to itself) does suggest a vulgar word that many would soon forget. If Williams wants to remind himself to fight cancer, he could use the letters “FGHT” beside “CNCR” to send the message.

Williams has received a letter from the Tax Commission to change his license plate. He intends to report to the Commission and explain the thought behind his license plate. At this point, however, the addition of a few letters to his new license plate will suffice.

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