William Michael Ward, 20, of Methuen, MA, passed away on November 15, 2021, with his loving parents by his side. Born on February 28, 2001, he was the son of Mark and Erin (Forkey) Ward of Methuen, MA.
An extraordinary young man, William was born with a rare neuromuscular condition, Myotubular Myopathy (MTM). He spent the first few months of his life in the Boston Children's Hospital NICU overlooking Fenway Park. As fate would have it, he was an avid Red Sox fan for life. Although his rare disease greatly impacted all his muscles, Will was not limited by his physical and medical challenges and lived a very full, rich life and faced each day with incredible resilience and his “Strong Will.” Will was unable to vocalize, yet he spoke volumes through his actions and presence in this world. His sense of humor and profound wisdom shined through loud and clear to those blessed to know and love him.
William was a proud Methuen Ranger, fully included with his classmates starting with pre-school at CGS and later graduating with his class in 2019 at Methuen High School. He was a friend to all and especially loved his biotechnology and media production classes that helped prepare him for his Patient Advocacy work, including recent presentations to the FDA. Will also enjoyed participating in many social activities such as the Andover Challenger Baseball league, Cub Scouts, MHS Best Buddies, and made his first Communion and confirmation.
Will loved attending and helping with national conferences through MTM-CNM Family Connection, where he had the opportunity to meet other children and adults living with MTM. Many have shared that Will was an inspiration to others living with MTM and exemplified how to live a full life every day. Will also participated in important, ground-breaking research from the very beginning of his life with the Beggs Lab for Congenital Myopathy Research at Boston Children’s Hospital. He raised funds through his ongoing efforts with the Children’s Hospital Trust, including the annual BCH Walk and through the incredible commitment and 16-year partnership with his Miles for Miracles Boston Marathon Partner, Kate Maul.
Will daily demonstrated his love of life, his abundant faith, and embraced his favorite mottos “Life is Good” and “When life throws you a curve ball, hit it out of the park!” He touched the lives of all who know him and quietly taught profound lessons of patience, gratitude, joy, and hope.
In addition to his parents, William is survived by his devoted grandparents, Eileen (Mead) and Leo Ward of Plattsburgh, NY and Sharon (Gifford) Forkey of Plattsburgh, NY; uncles and aunts, Dan and Kim (Hurd) Ward of Chelmsford, MA, Mary Beth (Forkey) and Austin Hackett of Phoenix, AZ, Kimberly Ward of Burlington, VT; cousins, Bethany and Jenna Ward of Chelmsford, MA, Ivy Ward of Burlington, VT, and Molly Hackett of Phoenix, AZ; and a large extended family who loved William dearly. He is welcomed into heaven by his grandfather, Roger Forkey and uncle, Jeffrey Forkey of Plattsburgh, NY. William is also dearly missed by his amazing team of nurses, physicians, researchers, therapists and educators, and his special dogs, Gracie and Simba.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend calling hours on Monday, November 22, 2021, from 4:00 PM to 7:00P M at Cataudella Funeral Home, 126 Pleasant Valley Street, Methuen. A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at 11:00 AM at St. Lucy Parish, 254 Merrimack Street, Methuen. Burial will be private at later date.
Due to the increase in COVID-19, the family kindly requests that all visitors wear masks.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial donations in William’s memory to MTM-CNM Family Connection, 2 Natasha Circle, Methuen, MA 01844, or online at www.mtm-cnm.org.