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Gratitude From Timmy Holliday and Marshall Billingsley

February 16, 2011
By Coby Ginsberg of Hillwood High School

As many of you know, two of our fellow Hillwood students have been battling cancer during this school year. Both the newspaper and outside news sources have been keeping you updated on their progress, and students, faculty, and outside sources have been helping to support 

If you haven’t heard, Marshall Billingsley, a Junior new to school this year, and Timothy Holliday, a Senior, were both diagnosed this year with different types of cancer. Both have had – and continue to have – positive outlooks on their situation, and it no doubt helps that they have received such massive support.

Timothy Holliday has received support with the Senior Class, the SGA, and the Art, Design, and Communications Academy all rallying behind him. Back in December, a holiday-themed photo shoot was set up to benefit Timothy, and wristbands were also sold. The faculty, staff, and students continue to brainstorm ways to make more money in Timothy’s name. “I feel extremely thankful and loved to have such a helpful student body,” Timothy told the Alphorn recently, “I’m really thankful to the Art, Design, & Communications Academy and its teachers for doing so much.”  The school has set up the Timothy Daniel Holliday Fund which you can donate to at any Suntrust Bank. After hearing about Timothy from his News Channel 2 story, Independence High School Seniors are doing a money drive to help raise funds for him and support him, even though he is a complete stranger. When asked how he responded to that kind of support, Timothy said, “It’s weird at first having people you don’t know do things for you, but I really appreciate it that people who don’t even know me care that much.” 

Both Timothy and Marshall have been fairly open about their diagnosis, both with

Hillwood and the outside media (both have conducted interviews with News Channel 2). Timothy has stated that he hopes if someone who is in a similar situation sees him that he will, “inspire them to keep going on and to try and have positive attitudes about it.”

Although Marshall was new to Hillwood this year, and only had gone to school for a short amount of time before he had to go into treatment, Hillwood was quick to respond. Almost immediately, the Junior Class Officers and the Student Government Association (SGA) thought of ways to help him. They organized bake sales, sold “We Are Marshall” bracelets, and made encouraging cards and videos. A fund has been set up in the name of Marshall Billingsley Contribution Account at the Regions bank in Brentwood (5204 Maryland Way). Marshall and his family have both been vocal about how much they appreciate all of this; his mother told News Channel 2 in 2010, "You're like, 'Oh, my gosh, I don't even know these people and they're writing to you.' It's just kind of incredible.”

Both of the students’ attitudes have been amazing this year, even with all that is going on. When not in treatment, both continue to show up to school with a smiling faces and good attitudes. Hillwood will continue to support them, and the entire Hilltopper family is hoping for the best. 

As Marshall told News Channel 2 last year, “Don’t give up, just keep pushing through and everything is going to work out alright.”


-Mollie Adcock 

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