Cherokee recognizes the selfish giving of so many health care workers. William Legere is one of those individuals who deserves to be recognized for his contribution to society, especially to the young and helpless of the word at large. June 2, 2008 brought great tragedy to the Leger family when their daughter Grace, was hit while riding in a horse cart. Grace died and her sister and her friend were also seriously injured at the time. This was a pivotal moment in Bill’s life. Bill had always practiced holistic medicine in all his roles, this event encouraged him to reach across the world to place his hands on the less fortunate among us.
Bill started his healthcare career as a unit secretary in 1993, obtained his registered nurse license and ended up as a nurse practitioner in 2001. Throughout his medical journey Bill was the consummate patient advocate. After the death of his daughter Grace, he became more of an activist for the rights of children here and abroad. Bill takes volunteerism to the extreme and he encourages others to join in the effort. Developing a 501(c)3 organization called The Foundation for Hope and Grace, Bill is reaching across the continent to help children in need. His site claims, “We fight because we believe that every child deserves hope” . Having adopted five children, Bill and his wife Teresa, live up to their vision “To rescue, protect and restore hope in the lives of thousands of people”. Bill works tirelessly to support what he feels every child needs, hope and grace. Please visit the foundation on line to read more about Bills life journey, http://hopeandgrace.com/. In April of 2012 Bill traveled to Ecuador and worked closely with Interslud, trying to reach children who have been forced to manual labor by organized drug rings. Bill also helped to fund the building of a school in Ecuador, which has begun to support itself, as planned by Bill and the founders of this program.. Bill’s wish is to get children off the streets and into schools and teach them all the skills they need to succeed in life. A future goal of the foundation is to provide scholarships to the at-risk kids so that they can go to the school aptly named Jericho School. Fifty-five children attend and the goal is to increase this.
Here in Maine Bill works closely with law enforcement to try to stop human trafficking, another cruel exploitation of children. Bill works with the police department in Lewiston and Auburn and has hosted educational opportunities in the community to enlighten everyone that human trafficking is here and we need to deal with it. Although there isn’t much data about human trafficking; these cities have identified 600-800 at risk youth who, because of their situations (homelessness and addiction) would be easy targets to predators.
He works tirelessly to make advances in the foster care systems by involving local churches and educating on the needs of the orphaned children waiting for adoption. Bill supported the first adoption grants through the foundation to support local families in the adoption process. Infertility issues prompted Bill and Teresa to pursue adoption and now they share that gift of knowledge and the process with others.
At CMMC we have banners of all the exceptional caregivers of the hospital and the one featuring Bills picture greets all the visitors and patients at our entrance. Bill believes that we all need justice, mercy and humility. Bill travels across the world and the state to reach all of those in need. His goal is to not stop and encouraging others to join him and his family and friends to make the world a safer place. His ongoing daily work and dedication to leaving a footprint on the world that protects and provides for the children who need it the most make him the Cherokee Caregiver of the year!