Waging his own battle against cancer
By Josh Ellerbrock
Published in News on October 9, 2013 1:46 PM
Bill Outlaw started up the Outlaw Foundation after winning his fight against leukemia with the support of his family. Pictured are Outlaw, his son, Gage, his wife, Candace, and his daughter, Reece.
Bill Outlaw is on a mission. A mission from God.
Back in May of 2012, a routine checkup led to a diagnosis of leukemia for Outlaw.
For the next six months, he spent his time fighting cancer. And during that trying time, Outlaw's perspective on his life changed.
"The whole time I didn't have control that I thought I had. And at the end I was begging God every five to ten minutes," he said.
But Outlaw, 36, survived the cancer, and so did his change in perspective.
"When you are taking things for granted and then begging for help the next moment, you start to wonder what God wanted," he said.
Outlaw's mission, the self-named Outlaw Foundation, hopes to help those who may need some extra support -- be it monetary or otherwise -- when dealing with the fight against cancer.
Because when Outlaw fought acute myeloid leukemia, he realized that he had all the support he needed -- monetary and otherwise. Being a business owner, Outlaw paid the bills as they came along. And his wife, Candace, was there for him when he couldn't even understand the doctor anymore during the bout with leukemia and when he was close to death when two rare infections hit him in the stomach and intestine.
"It's a tough situation. Sometimes, I was out of it. She had to hear about it. Things didn't look good," he said.
But others don't have that kind of support, he said, and he asked a higher power to guide him to see what he could do after surviving his own ordeal.
"I kept asking, how did I make it through," Outlaw said.
And one day after being proclaimed cancer-free, he got his answer. After watching a friend, Cynthia Smith, head to Chapel Hill for her own cancer treatment with a smile on her face, Outlaw knew that his divinely guided work lay in helping others with cancer to provide that same kind of support that he had from friends and family.
The Outlaw Foundation, with the tag line of "Outlast, outlive, Outlaw," will be collecting funds to aid cancer victims by providing the everyday items and emotional support that those with cancer might be missing.
To do so, Outlaw is looking to collect individual donations and to raise funds using golf tournaments, walks/runs and giving out hunting packages.
He hopes to use those funds to help cancer patients attached to Southeast Medical Oncology Center and Wayne Memorial Hospital.
And if a cancer patient isn't located at those care centers, the Outlaw Foundation is willing to help any way it can -- be it through mortgage payments, gas payments or encouragement from cancer survivors.
"People have said to me, 'I didn't know what I could do for you. I don't know how to help'" Outlaw said. "I want to let people know this is a way to help others."
A few other organizations do some of the same type of support, such as Colors for Cures and the Me Fine Foundation based in Princeton.
"I know it's going to work. I promised it's going to work," Outlaw said.
For more information, to give donations or to request aid, visit the Outlaw Foundation's website at www.theoutlawfoundation.com.
"There was a reason He left me here, and it was this," he said.