A Campbell County sheriff’s deputy was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
His community is now rallying behind him.
Billy White works for the sheriff’s department. He’s also an MMA fighter turned boxer.
WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel sat down with White in his hospital room, as he faces what’s likely his toughest fight yet.
He’s now living by the slogan “Fight Like White” – a play on his last name – and making it clear that he won’t let this diagnosis defeat him.
A wall decorated with get well cards and pictures and a TV and video gaming system set up. Those are some of the little things, making his hospital room feel like home. And it’s been home to Campbell County Sheriff’s Office deputy Billy White for about the past week now.
“To be 28 and told you have leukemia, I mean it was the hardest thing I ever had to hear,” said White.
The diagnosis coming last Wednesday, after White says he was feeling off and decided to get it checked out.
“It’s hard to say it’s not a nightmare, because I mean it is, it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but everybody here has made it so much easier,” said White.
He’s crediting the community to help him get through it, with an outpouring of support, including phone calls, visits, and food deliveries.
“That has made this so much easier on me, to know that I might be in here by myself sometimes, but I have not been alone through this since it happened,” he said.
White’s fiancée Autumn Reynolds, has been there every step of the way. She’s also feeling the arms of the community wrapping around her.
“This has been the worst few days of my life, scariest, but it’s also been filled full of the most love that I have ever experienced from our community, and people are not only surrounding him, but they’re surrounding me,” Reynolds said.
White being a MMA fighter turned boxer, fighting for his life is undoubetdly his toughest fight yet, but he’s making it clear, it’s a battle he’ll also overcome.
“It’s not going to be one of those things that beats me at all. I’ve not been beat by anything yet and it’s not going to be now. It’s going to be 5 years down the road when her and I are married and we have friends over and I’m just going to be like, ‘Hey remember that one time I had cancer?’ It’s just going to be a story,” said White.
White also passed along a message to anyone going through a similar situation: You’re not alone, keep your spirits up, keep fighting and don’t give up.
The Campbell County Sheriff’s Department is continuing to support White. We’re told they’re organizing a basketball tournament to cover some of his medical costs. That will take place in February.
A co-worker also put together a GoFundMe account. For more information, click here.