10/08/17 — Cancer edition 2017: Rallying around the need

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Cancer edition 2017: Rallying around the need

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 8, 2017 4:03 PM

Southeastern Cancer Care's Cures for the Colors and the Bill Outlaw Foundation are nonprofit organizations that can help cancer victims weather financial difficulties..

"Cures for the colors was started when it became apparent that our patients needed assistance with basic living essentials while undergoing treatment," said Dr. James Atkins, Southeastern Cancer Care president. "One patient from Clinton came to see me with head and neck cancer, but he did not need to see me. He needed to see the radiation oncologist next door.

"He told me he had a car and he lived 18 miles from the office. However, he could not get to the office to get his radiation therapy as he did not have enough money to get two gallons of gas a day, five days a week, for six weeks."

He did not need more research he only needed a gas card to cure his cancer, Atkins said.

"We got a gas card for him, he got his radiation therapy, and he should be cured," he said. "This is essentially one of the instances that led to the creation of Southeastern Cancer Care's Cures for the Colors."

Cures for the Colors, is a 501-c-3, non-profit, tax exempt organization established in 2011.

The organization was created to help cancer patients in eastern North Carolina by assisting with basic living essentials such as grocery vouchers, gas cards, utility payments and oncology related prescription drugs.

All of the proceeds raised stay in eastern North Carolina to help those who are on active chemo, radiation or within three months of surgery.

Each person can get up to $1,500 a year, based on income, not on assets.

Assistance is offered to patients who live east of Interstate 95 or the counties that have I-95 within their boundaries, applicants do not have to be a patient of Southeastern Medical Oncology Center in order to receive this help.

To raise funds for this organization, Southeastern Cancer Care as well as community civic and social organizations hold fundraisers throughout the year.

These events include a family fun 5K, fall fashion show, tractor ride, yoga classes, musical plays, hunting contests, golf tournament, dance competition and a motorcycle ride.

In order to receive funds the patient can contact Southeastern Cancer Care Coordinator Lee Parrish.

Approval is subject to meeting the above criteria and income level that has been determined by the board of directors.

Last year the organization was able to assist more than 400 patients.

Funds raised are used to assist patients, there are no paid salaries affiliated with Southeastern Cancer Care.

If you have a patient who may qualify for help, have them contact Parrish at 919-587-9056 or at lparrish@cancersmoc.com.


The Bill Outlaw Foundation has provided $285,072.26 since its start in 2013.

It assists financially by helping the family pay utility bills, mortgages and provides gas and food cards. It can assist for two years for a total of $1,200 per year.

It holds an annual fundraising golf tournament in October and a 5K run/walk in March.

The Outlaw Foundation was founded based on prayer.

Outlaw, of Mount Olive, is a cancer survivor.

For days and nights after his recovery, Outlaw said he prayed to God over and over begging for an answer as to why God had spared him.

"I promised whatever He  had for me, I would make Him proud and do it to the fullest of my ability, just give me the answer and I will get started," Outlaw said.

It was sometime later that a family friend was diagnosed with AML. She was sent to  Chapel Hill for treatment because her cancer was further along than Outlaw's had been.

Outlaw and his wife, Candace, went to visit her.

Outlaw said he tried to steel himself myself before entering the room, thinking he was about to walk into an emotional situation.

But when they entered it was upbeat. She kept referring to Outlaw and what she was about to endure.

A doctor came in and started explaining the start of the process and what to expect. After she was done talking the friend asked Outlaw if had any questions for the doctor.

"I was a little shocked," he said. "Then the doctor looked at me and said, 'You are the one.' I said yes it is me."

The doctor told Outlaw his friend had referred to him several times since she had arrived in Chapel Hill.   

"We went home and about 3 a.m. I felt like I had been slapped in the face," he said. "It was clear at that time and moment what God's Purpose was for me. I had heard of these things happening to people, but never before had it happened to me.

"I would say that this is called a spiritual awakening. I went about the next couple of days pondering what had happen and what direction I was heading.  I wanted to start a foundation to help others financially or any other way that we could."

His wife said it should be The Outlaw Foundation called O3 (Outlaw Outlast Outlive).

The goal of the foundation is to help others during these unfortunate difficult times he said.

"Many people lose everything they have worked for their entire lives," Outlaw said. "Our goal is to cut all of the red tape and let nurses and doctors tell us who needs the help. They know best. Then we can come in and make mortgage payments, electric bill payments, hotel expenses or provide gas cards.

"I am in debt to God for healing and Blessing me and my family.  So I  have promised I would do this, and I will see this become reality."

For more information, call 800-334-3452 or visit www.theoutlawfoundation.com.