10/01/09 — Fundraiser set for former deputy Wells

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Fundraiser set for former deputy Wells

By Staff Reports
Published in News on October 1, 2009 1:46 PM

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Billy Wells

As a young child, Billy Wells dreamed of becoming a police officer and helping people in his community. But late last year that dream ended as he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer -- a non-seminoma choriocarcinoma germ cell tumor, which had originated in his chest and lungs.

Wells began his work in law enforcement in 2002 as a deputy with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office. Then in 2008 he joined the Emerald Isle Police Department, but in October began experiencing problems with a bad cough, heaviness in his chest and constant fatigue. At first he was treated for bronchitis but when that didn't work, an X-ray in November showed a mass the size of baseball in his chest, along with eight tumors in his lungs.

With surgery not an option, Wells began chemotherapy on Jan. 5. Since then the mass has shrunk, but new spots appeared on his brain and pelvis, which were treated with radiation and surgery respectively.

The next step for Wells is a trip to Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York for a high dose of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

To help Wells offset the costs of the trip and treatment, a car wash and bake sale fundraiser is being held by Well's co-workers at Carolina Phone and Alarm and his Relay for Life team, Rays of Hope, on Saturday and then again on Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Advance Auto on Berkeley Boulevard.