Beloved 23-year-old Fort Bragg soldier loses battle with cancer

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Jack Stillman was a Fort Bragg soldier loved and respected by family, friends and fellow soldiers.

A Fort Bragg soldier has been taken too soon, not by war, but by cancer.

Sergeant Jack Stillman was loved by many, and his family is left with a heartbreaking loss. Stillman died Saturday. He was just 23.

The past year and a half has been rocky for the Stillman family, since Jack was told he had an aggressive form of lymphoma. He was in and out of the hospital too many times to count, each time receiving chemotherapy. At times, the family saw positive results.

"'I'm not going to die,'" his wife, Alina Stillman, recalled Jack saying. "'They can't tell me I'm going to die.' You know, he was like, 'We've gotten this far. Treatments have worked before.' But the issue was the treatments just didn't last."

His body changed drastically during his battle.

"Two years ago, I could never even do a half grip around his arm," Alina said. "Well, all it took was for me to go like this around his arm to completely be able to touch my fingers."

Jack was a true fighter. His unit at Fort Bragg gave him a signed pair of boxing gloves when he was first diagnosed.

Alina, the couple's two sons and other family members hoped he'd become cancer-free one day - he started a new chemotherapy just last Tuesday - but the treatments were unsuccessful.

"The last few days of his life, it was like, the disease just completely demolished him," Alina said.

An abundance of social media posts now mentions his name across the Internet. Organizations from as far as Ohio - Jack's home state - are raising money for the family.

If you'd like to donate or read more about Jack's life, click here.

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