Community spirit shines brightly in Red Deer

We often hear time and again, how generous the Red Deer community is. And at multiple times of the year, we see that generosity shine through whether it be fundraisers for the hospital like the well-attended and successful Festival of Trees, to numerous charity golf tournaments which raise money for various organizations or a local club or group who raises money to help those less fortunate in other countries.

The list is endless.

No matter what the cause or need, Red Deerians always come through and in a big way.

One Red Deer man, who is currently fighting to regain his health, has recently seen that generosity firsthand.

Jase Nibourg, 33, was recently diagnosed with B Cell Lymphoma. Nearly two weeks ago after what appeared to be a minor incident while training with kettle bells, Nibourg went into the hospital with what he thought may have been a bruised or cracked sternum.

He had a national competition coming up and wanted to get clearance to compete. After tests were conducted, a large tumour was found behind his sternum that is pressing against his heart. The cancer is quite aggressive and has spread into his entire chest cavity and into both of his lungs. He will begin chemotherapy in Calgary on Friday. Radiation also may be a possibility down the road.

Nibourg will undergo heavy doses of steroids that will most likely keep him up for days on end. Chemotherapy will also be long and exhausting – a full day of IV treatments to start.

His surroundings are one of the biggest priorities during his fight as his immune system is compromised and even something like a common cold could be extremely detrimental to his health. These are some of the many things to be considered during his fight.

The road ahead remains somewhat unknown.

Nibourg, a man with a wife and a young family, has had to take a new path in life by no choice of his own. What he didn’t expect was that the entire community would be behind him in his fight.

Following his diagnosis, a GoFundMe page was set up in hopes of raising money for him and his family to help with unknown medical costs that will arise including possible medications that aren’t covered. As well, Nibourg is a small business owner, so paid leave is not an option.

After a blitz on social media sites, Nibourg’s GoFundMePage nearly went viral. Within 10 days, close to $18,000 has been raised, with donations coming from people that he knows, to anonymous donors and some he has never even met. These funds will help with Nibourg and his family’s expenses.

What a showing of community sprit. Red Deerians have done it again.

There is no question that we undoubtedly live in a great community – one that no matter what, Red Deerians are always willing to drop whatever they are doing to help others.

Nibourg and his family are completely overwhelmed with the community support – and rightfully so. Nibourg’s wife said they were hoping to see $300 raised to help with expenses, so the fact that $18,000 has been raised so far, is incredible – and in such a short period of time to boot.

In as little as 10 days, Nibourg and his wife watched the funds raised climb and we hope it doesn’t stop there.

Let’s keep the momentum going and continue to help and support this family who never asked to walk this path. The positive thing is that they don’t have to walk it alone – they have our entire community’s support.

To learn more about Nibourg’s story or to donate, visit www.gofundme.com and search for ‘Jase & Michelle’.

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