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Stories from the Road

The Legacy of Bill Licamele

Meet Virtual Rider Bill Licamele — a living legend and role-model for his patients, family, colleagues, and friends, who has raised over $97,000 for BellRinger

5 min read

While some might know him best as Georgetown Men’s Basketball’s biggest fan, other’s know him as the man who has devoted his life’s work to understanding others and practicing kindness along the way. Third-year Virtual Rider Dr. Bill Licamele has touched the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people throughout his time as a Georgetown student, practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, mentor, and friend. With his efforts alone, Bill has raised over $97,000 for BellRinger, and his journey with the community is one that has never gone unnoticed.

Rooted from humble beginnings back home in Connecticut, his father, Louis, was a pharmacist who always yearned to become a doctor. While the dream never came to fruition, he never let that deter him from connecting with his customers and understanding their needs. Watching his father’s deep appreciation for others and his ability to listen to the needs of all his customers, Bill was inspired to make a life as a doctor, both for himself and to honor his father’s memory.

Bill attended Georgetown University from 1964 to 1972, obtaining an undergraduate degree in Biology and his medical degree from the GUSOM. His residency and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was at Georgetown University Hospital, where he later became the Director of Child Psychiatry. From that point on, Bill seized every opportunity to be helpful and to impact all he met.

Through his almost 40 years working in every avenue of child and adolescent psychiatry, Bill led his own practice, worked within Georgetown University’s Medical Center as a practicing psychiatrist and professor, and mentored at local schools across the DMV. Since retiring, he has continued to grow his impact within the University and beyond — mentoring pre-med student athletes, serving as a member of the Georgetown Retiree Association and the Jesuit Association of Retired Faculty, assisting with undergraduate and medical school interviews, and so much more.

During the pandemic in 2021, Bill added a new connection to his alma-mater: cancer patient. Bill fell ill with a high fever and severe chills, initially suspecting it was meningitis. After making his way to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, a CAT scan revealed that it was not a hepatic abscess as initially suspected, but instead biliary cancer. Bill consulted with Dr. John Marshall and faced a tough decision between two surgical options, and after opting for what was considered the more aggressive approach, he underwent surgery. After starting the surgery, the presence of tiny metastases meant that successful removal of part of his liver, as planned, was not possible, and a new treatment plan was on the horizon. He then began chemotherapy under Dr. Ruth He and participated in a targeted research protocol, and he also underwent proton therapy to maintain his stable condition and allow him to stay a part of the many activities he loves each and every day.

Bill’s cancer markers have since improved, and he remains vigilant with regular scans and monitoring. Throughout his battle, Bill has continually expressed profound gratitude for the exceptional care provided by the five north oncology research nursing staff, whose expertise and compassion have been a cornerstone of his treatment. With all the love and care he has received from his doctors and nurses along the way, nothing quite compares to the gratitude and love he has for his wife of 48 years, Annamarie.

Bill and Annamarie met during childlife rounds at Georgetown Hospital, where she was a tutor of pediatric patients and he a child psychiatry fellow. They brought three loving children into the world (all of whom are Georgetown graduates, and now have three Hoya spouses!). Through all of the trials and tribulations that life has put into their laps, Bill credits the resilience with which they have collectively persevered to his amazing wife.

“She’s not only my nurse (who I try to be a good patient for), but she is my rock who has been with me through it all.”

It was in 2021 when Bill first learned about BellRinger, and ever since he has been a staunch supporter of the community, the mission, and the work that is happening each day at Georgetown Lombardi. It was during the Inaugural Ride that a video of Bill sharing his story was sent to every Rider just 5 minutes before embarking on their 25, 50, and 100 mile journeys to end cancer.

With his profound journey through life on display for the entire BellRinger community, his message was simple: “Thank you for riding for BellRinger. Ride like your life depends on it and others depend on it, because they do.”

Since 2022, Bill has gone above and beyond to make an impact within the BellRinger Community, providing more opportunities for medical students, Georgetown alumni, and the broader community to become involved and make an impact in their own way.

Bill shared, “When you come out of Georgetown, you know how to treat people.” In and out of patient rooms, classrooms, and any room he walks into, no one embodies this ideal more than Bill Licamele.

One of Bill’s unexpected recent endeavors has been dabbling in poetry, and he’s recently published his first two pieces in the Georgetown Voice! To read Bill’s poems, A Person with Cancer NOT a cancer patient! and ODE TO JIMMY V, click here and reference pages 39 and 40!

June 27, 2024

100% of funds raised support

Academic Health System Partner