To Hell and Back: The Legend of Dorian Willes

June 2007…

Your parents have kicked you out and essentially disowned you. Your best friend asked you not to come around anymore, afraid of you and wary that you’re stealing from him. You’ve been living in your truck or with your drug dealer. You’ve been caught by law enforcement with a sawed off shotgun and are awaiting sentencing on federal gun charges. You’ve always gotten off with a slap on the wrist so why worry this time.

You cut off the ankle bracelet monitoring your whereabouts and now you are on the run. You’ve abandoned your two young children because you didn’t want them to see the monster you’ve become.

You live in the shadows. You’re the worst kind of criminal. You’re an enforcer, a “collector” for a drug dealer. You commit heinous acts, threatening families and children. You steal to keep up your habit. Your life is a train-wreck. There is no end in sight. Your only joy is scaring the living shit out of people, threatening them within an inch of their life and taking their money.

Fast forward to June 5th 2008

Still awaiting sentencing for drugs but now a fugitive with U.S. Marshals on your tail, you spot the cops- local P.D.-but you know you are wanted. Assuming that they are there for you, you panic. Awkwardly backing up your suburban they take notice and come to investigate. Realizing your trapped you run to a nearby apartment complex looking for a place to hide.

Minutes turn into hours in a standoff with police. You’re hiding in an apartment complex, punching through drywall to escape, running scared for your life, high on Methamphetemine.  You’re hiding now, and you can hear them walking across a wooden board.

The board is a thinly veiled prop that conceals your location in the basement. The dogs know where you are but the cops haven’t caught on yet and then they circle back. The jig is up. They peel back the board as you reach out to surrender.

Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop, the blasts echo with a gruesome report. The cops see what looks like a gun; a soldering gun. You never had a real gun on you but it’s too late now. The stinging pain, drug dogs barking, blood everywhere, your own blood.

You lie stunned, looking up to see gun barrels smoking, and what seems like a an army of cops aiming MP5 sub-machine guns and staring you down. The pain is coursing through your body, and as a cop reaches to render you aid, you violently take a swing at him. Recognizing you’ve still got fight left, the lot of them drag you up and out of the basement, banging your head on the steps and cracking open the back of your skull.

You wake up from a coma, 3 months later in the hospital. Still fighting for your life. The doctor informs your Mom that it was touch and go and that after hours of surgery, he patched 21 holes in your body. Bullet holes. Entrance and exit wounds, mostly in your arms, legs and chest.

You wake up mad as hell at the world and blaming everyone. The cops, your parents, your family, friends, drugs, anyone and everyone are responsible for this hell. Definitely you’ve had a string of bad luck and it’s not your fault.

With your left arm barely functioning and your right leg amputated at the knee because of spreading infection, you spend 9 months total in the hospital. You’ve lost nearly 100 pounds. Once a tall, imposing, athletic, 225 pounds now a guant 130. You can’t walk and many basic skills must be relearned through hours of therapy. You’re blinded in one eye and you have only an 18 month prison sentence to look forward to. Prison. Not jail. The Federal Joint.

Meet Dorian Willes. This is his story.  Dorian started off with drugs early in life. Alcohol and marijuana at the tender age of 12. Later, cocaine until eventually Meth took over his life. Where he was often successful as a business man and soccer coach, his life would eventually come undone due to drugs.

He ran from his problems, moving from state to state, each time hoping to change, hoping to start over and often clean for months or years inbetween.  The idea of a functioning drug addict is a pipe dream that addicts and users believe. Yet, sooner or later every drug addict has to deal with their deamons. Dorian it seems, picked a fight with the devil himself.

This was not the end for Dorian. Even though everyone around him involved in the game is either dead or in prison, he woke up alive. Do a google search and see if you can find one other person shot 21 times that lived. It’s unheard of. Dorian says that he wished often while in prison that he had not lived. That was until he really woke up.

He could’ve quit. He could’ve given up. He could use his injuries as an excuse. He has not. While in prison, Dorian started writing in a journal. He cried out to God in his suffering. In time he began to see that he was the problem. He reached a crossroads. He could stay in this misery and wait to die or he could start repairing all of the damage he’d done. He began writing letters to his family and his children. Apologizing and trying to reconnect. Rebuilding trust takes time and action speaks louder than words.

Dorian started speaking at schools as a volunteer for the Idaho Meth Project. Warning youth with his personal message to stay clean. He is president of Lim359 an organization that provides opportunities for people with limb loss or limb difference. He mentors teens who are struggling to find their way in life. He meets with anyone and everyone seeking inspiration and needing to know that life can be better. He is generous with his time.

He set goals to gain weight and strength and to regain his mobility. He sobered up and remains so. He’s a college graduate. He’s run numerous half marathons. He practices jujitsu and took 5th in his division at a recent fitness competition, also taking home the award for “Most Inspirational Athelete”. Now, in his words, he is “being a force to be reckoned with but in a postive way.”

For most people this would be a valuable way to try to reconcile and repair the wounds both he an others suffered. Dorian wants to do more. He met his wife Billy a few years ago at a Skatepark while watching their sons skateboard. He credits Billy with pushing him to live his dreams. She has encouraged him to play indoor soccer, to lift weights, and to compete in a fitness challenge. Between the two they have suffered immensely and lifes challenges continue.

However, together though they continue to beat the odds and are a shining example of what can be done when we take ownership of our lives. They are demonstrating that our future is our choice. Their love for each other and their mutual commitment to move forward doing good is clear. Dorian is very engaging and his story while once one of pain is now one of resounding joy.

He recently met the new Chief of Police, Bill Bones who said, while the incident was horrible for everyone involved, he is grateful to see Dorian recovered and doing so much good with his life. Opportunity abounds.

Today, Dorian is on a huge track to success. A 1,475 meter track! After catching the eye of the United States Adaptive Bobsled & Skeleton Association, Dorian was invited to compete in the North America Cup in Calgary. While training for Bobsled his coaches hounded him to try Skeleton. According to Dorian, he’d never considered it and he wasn’t too excited at first. Then he found out that Bobsled might not be offered in the upcoming 2018 Paralympics in Korea.

His coach suggested he could still make history by trying Skeleton. With only 9 minutes of instruction he climbed on a small steel sled headfirst and took his first downhill run. He rocketed over 100mph down the track earning 2nd place in his first ever competition. In January he competed in Austria and Switzerland in training and the World Cup placing 6th in Austria and taking the podium for 3rd in Switzerland. This month he continues his quest to compete at the 2018 XII Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dorian last week and heard this story first hand. I can’t tell you how great it was to see his face and feel the joy in his words. He is truly a changed man. I know Dorian has been down a dark road. It would be easy to write him off and assume the worst. Healing happens both for the individual and for others around them when they are able to forgive themselves and to be forgiven. Dorian has woken up from the collective hell.

I personally believe in him and I support the direction he’s taking with his life. I am honored to call him my friend.  I commend him for taking the reigns of his life and for investing in himself and his relationships. I invite you to come meet him yourself tonight, at his event “The World Cup Experience” starting at 6:30pm at the Idaho Party Barn 1345 W Overland Rd, Meridian, Idaho 83642.

Dorian will also be speaking to our CMO Marketing group on March 12th. The Meeting runs from 11am to 1pm We’ll be using a meeting space courtesy of NLP Secure at 7253 W Franklin Rd, Boise, ID 83709

in order to attend, guests must register at

Dorian can be booked to speak to your group by visiting:!bookdorian/c66t

If you’d like to sponsor Dorian or would like to support him please visit his sponsor page on his website:!supportdorian/c1yws

Contact Dorian directly through his email

This life is very compelling and one where the relationships we make can make all of the difference. What’s your story? How can we help you elevate your game? It’s time to create your own legend!

We’d love to hear your comments!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>