The Columns

Del Clark's Renewed Cancer Battle

— by on February 12th, 2010

When Del Clark graduated from Washington and Lee in 1990, most of his classmates were well aware of the battle he had fought with cancer during his undergraduate career. As his classmate and roommate Todd Peppers recently recalled, during his sophomore year Del had a cancerous brain tumor and a prognosis of a year to live.  He left school that spring and returned home to Oregon, where he underwent seven hours of brain surgery and subsequent radiation. He returned to W&L for his junior year, however, and classmates cheered when Del received his diploma in June 1990. Everyone, including Del and his doctors, thought he had beaten the cancer. Del went onto law school, earning his J.D. from the Willamette University College of Law and an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Washington School of Law. He married and had two children, a son and a daughter, and built a legal career in Portland, Ore., where he now owns the Willamette Law Group, which specializes in tax.  As Todd wrote in a recent e-mail about his roommate, “After 20 years, we were all convinced that the odds of Del’s cancer returning were remote, but, sadly, it did in October.” An article in The Oregonian earlier this month reported on Del’s situation, noting that he has had three surgeries and now is beginning chemotherapy and radiation. The article quotes Del’s doctor: “He’s already shown that one time his body was able to outlive the tumor. It’s possible there’s some X-factor in Del.” Everyone who knows him hopes that is true. In addition to his law practice, Del is a city councilor in the Portland suburb of Sherwood. Next month in Sherwood, they’ll have an Easter egg hunt to benefit Del (if you click this link and scroll down, you’ll see photos of Del and his family).  In addition, a donation account at U.S. Bank in downtown Sherwood has been established under Del’s name.  All those who knew him at W&L are still cheering for him.