Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Here is some of the information Zak needs to get out to everyone. Please visit: steps4billy.org for all of the information. Thank you.

William E. (Billy) Obenchain, Jr. was a devoted Christian, husband, father, “pops”, son, brother, firefighter, and committed friend to many. Also, he was a career firefighter, who retired from the Roanoke City Fire Department in Roanoke, VA in 2007, and he faithfully served the Town of Vinton, VA as councilman for 16+ years, having been vice mayor for several years. Every single day for 9 years, he endured a rare form of lymphoma – Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (e.g., CTCL) - that has no known cure. After a long, determined fight against the disease, Billy left us for his Eternal Home in Heaven on December 23, 2009.

During his illness, he was under the watchful eye and stellar care of one of the premier specialists in this disease, Dr. Elise Olsen of Duke Medical Center and Dr. Stephen Rosenoff of Blue Ridge Cancer Center in Roanoke Virginia. Billy also traveled, at the request of Merck Pharmaceuticals, to help scientists, researchers and others involved in drug creation to understand the plight of the CTCL patient.

It was through the grace of Our God, and the wonderful work of his doctors that he lived and loved for 9 years.

The first inaugural fund raising event for Steps4Billy is a 100 mile walk!
The goal is to raise $10,000 for the Duke CTCL/Cutaneous Lymphoma Research and Treatment Center at the Duke Medical Center. The efforts of this center allowed Billy to live many years after diagnosis.
Dr. Alice Obenchain-Leeson, sister of Billy and Dr. Carole Ann Creque, family friend, will walk 100 miles during the week of May 10 – 16, 2010 around the Roanoke Valley of Virginia. This event will begin in Vinton, VA, and traverse through places that were special to Billy to include his church, his hometown, the schools he attended, and all Roanoke City Fire Stations.
You can help the fight against CTCL, honor Billy’s memory, and show your support for our walk by sending a check or money order, directly to:

The Duke CTCL Fund

C/O Dr. Elise Olsen

(Steps 4 Billy)

Box 3294 DUMC

Durham, NC 27710

Or online to:


All donations are tax deductible and all contributions go directly to support Cutaneous Lymphoma research and patient care activities under Dr. Olsen’s direction.
Please contact us with any questions or requests:

Alice Obenchain-Leeson aliceo@averett.edu

Carole Ann Creque

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