Friday, July 12, 2024

Abel Wiebe & family need your help


It began with a distinct scratchiness of the throat; his voice grew weaker, and he felt a rattle when he breathed or spoke. That was in March of 2012. After he felt a worsening, Isidro Abel Wiebe went to Belize City to seek medical help. He got a biopsy, and shortly after, he was informed that he had been diagnosed with Laryngeal Carcinoma.

Abel Wiebe worked for 11 years at a popular nightclub in downtown San Pedro, and before that, he had worked one year at a now-defunct nightclub south of town. He was never a smoker, yet, he is suffering the effects of cigarette smoke; second-hand smoke is deadly, and he is a prime example. But this story is not ALL about the effect of the smoke he passively inhaled over the years he worked to put food on his family’s table. The sad issue is that he has been diagnosed, and in the ensuing panic that overtakes when one hears that dreaded word “cancer”, he followed doctor’s orders, not even taking a chance at a second opinion, or reaching out to the organizations that could have helped him with some options.

As such, funds that were raised by family, friends and (former) co-workers went towards paying expensive treatments that in the end did him no good. When funding ran out, he had to come back to Belize, to explore other options. The Dangriga Cancer Center in Belize is offering treatment to him: chemotherapy, which he needs to undergo before heading to Guatemala for the operation that could possibly save his life, and perhaps even his voice.

He cannot speak; he writes a lot of what he wants to say on a piece of paper. He is frustrated at not being able to work, or to provide for his family. But he has been directed by doctors to go on bed-rest, and he has accepted that if he never speaks again, he only looks forward to seeing his three children grow up. He paid off the home he had worked hard over the years to keep, with money that his former employers provided him. “In case something happens, I know that my children and wife have a home to live in,” he wrote out to us.Fanny (11), Emily (6) and Baldemar (8), along with his wife Marisela all want the same thing: to spend many long, healthy years with Abel.

How you can help:

The San Pedro Cancer Society has stepped in to offer assistance with his traveling expenses, securing him 50% discounts on Tropic Air to and from the Belize Cancer Center Dangriga, and available to offer further aid as he travels. However, in the spirit of Christmas, and considering the extremes of their financial state, the cancer society asks the community of San Pedro town to help them in their efforts to provide the family with a Christmas food basket and gifts. San Pedro Cancer Society founder and member Monica Prevett told The San Pedro Sun, “I want to get them a food basket with ham, turkey, grocery items, some apples and grapes and whatever else I can get them. I want them to have as normal a Christmas as they can have.” Businesses have been approached, and through this medium, individuals are encouraged to make donations towards the gift collection by dropping off items (food, gifts or monetary) at Bistro Mestizo (on Barrier Reef Drive), or by emailing Monica directly at [email protected] or the cancer society at [email protected] .

A fundraiser is also being planned by the SP Cancer Society, which The San Pedro Sun will be promoting as details are ironed out.

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