Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this information. We are posting here to ask for friends, family and others with a loving heart to hear the story of the Ebels family.
Rob and his wife Heidi (Thompson) Ebels are residents of Hersey, Michigan in Osceola County.
They are the sort of hard-working, good-hearted, first-to-volunteer-to-help-others kind of midwestern people that those of us that know and love them are PROUD to know. They show their own kind and giving heart with their many roles as volunteers and helpers in school and community activities.
Given how much they have done quietly for others and without asking for a hand out, we hope you will take the time to read up about this family’s story and consider helping them on this tough fight, in any way you can. You can do so knowing with confidence they would be the first person to offer to help if it was you or YOUR loved one.
The medical struggles nobody wants to have to face
The Ebels are very involved parents of three great kids, and both employed in Reed City--Heidi for Chartwells at GT Norman Elementary and Rob at Tubelight. They were busy with their home, farm, work, and as active parents for their kids when unexpectedly, the bottom dropped out.
After some health struggles, the family got the kind of diagnosis nobody wants to hear: Rob has Stage 4 Colon Cancer.
In addition to this dangerous diagnosis, they learned that the cancer had metastasized to the peritoneum and omentum (these are the linings of the body cavity).
Treatment began almost immediately and will need to be quite aggressive.
The plans included six rounds of chemotherapy over the course of three months, followed by Cytoreductive Surgery, followed by six more rounds of chemo over three months.
So the game plan for a very tough and costly treatment, in simpler terms is this: the doctor will spend most of a day removing every sign of cancer that can be seen and then will begin the next phase, a course of heated chemotherapy drugs pumped directly into his body cavity.
There have been health complications that have delayed this necessary treatment plan.
Chemo began in early February, but Rob required hospitalization for chest/stomach pain almost as soon as chemo started.
A discovery of low blood counts have already delayed chemo, then a blood clot further complicated the situation.
Then an echocardiogram showed his heart function is significantly lower than it should be. He will need to have a heart catheterization done before they will be able to resume chemo.
These complications have inevitably resulted in a delay for his treatment plan.
The original plan for treatment was six rounds of chemo spaced two weeks apart, followed by the surgery. Then six more rounds of chemo.
There is the possibility of him having all 12 rounds of chemo before surgery if his body is tolerating treatment well, but according to Heidi, the surgeon says that it rarely happens that way.
Long term, it is hard to say how long treatment will take. Given the health issues that have already caused huge delays in what was the schedule for these first two rounds of chemo, Heidi said her best estimate would be this portion of the treatment plan would be around 7-8 months total.
The family worth fighting for
Now that we have told you about these serious medical issues and the health struggles, please learn more about this amazing family and the other issues they are facing because of this.
In addition to working hard to provide for their family of five (plus countless farm animals on their rural Hersey farm), the Ebels use what little time they have to give back to the community.
They are the first to volunteer to help those in need-as I (Nicole Weiss) am writing, this, I can attest to first hand. As I have seen them so many others in need, when my health failed, they were active in a group of friends that stepped up to help.
They also often volunteer for activities that their children are involved in, from helping out at the community theater when their daughter Jade was acting in the summer youth program, to assisting in their kids band program and so much more.
Over the years Heidi has been a volunteer in her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, they both are involved in Osceola County 4-H, and for the past four years, Rob has worked with the Cub Scouts.
This array of medical treatments will be extremely costly.
Heidi said both employers have been good about time off they have taken so far for Rob’s treatment and the health setbacks.
Rob has been trying to work as much as possible, but at best lately he is missing several days of work per week.
So far he's lost several weeks of work in just over a month because of treatment, side effects and doctor appointments. Chemo could cause him to lose more work because of side effects.
At best, he'll have a minimum of two days of missed work every other week. Once he is stable enough for the procedure, surgery could be a month or two without work. (With surgery Rob will have to be in the hospital 7-10 days following the procedure, and that is IF everything goes as hoped.)
The financial struggles this family is facing and will be facing for the next year are astronomical, and that is if everything goes as best as it can.
With all the missed work and medical bills, the financial hurdles for a family that should be able to simply focus on Rob’s health fight will be overwhelming.
In addition to simply juggling the home and kids, normal household expenses, transportation and all of life’s day-to-day struggles, they now must deal with the financial roadblocks and emotional stress and strife that comes with battling these health complications.
So what can you do? Prayers and good wishes are appreciated, but we also want to address the burdens in a practical sense.
We have set financial goals that we hope to meet to offer some assistance. This will provide a little necessary practical relief.
Rob and Heidi are facing so very much and we want to alleviate some of the stress that comes with feeding your family while facing the overwhelming financial burdens they are taking on because of bills, missed work and more.
So if there is anything you can offer, large or small, it is greatly appreciated by all of us trying to help and we know it is much appreciated for this humble and kind family that is so deserving of our help.
In addition, please look here and our upcoming facebook page for this family to learn more about progress and an upcoming event fundraiser in the works.
This is a family very deserving of our help, and they would be the very last people to ask for help and the very first to reach out and help you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance for your help-financially, with thoughts and prayers, and helping us get the word out by sharing this page link. It all matters and is all appreciated.
~~The Ebels family army
- Michael McConnell
- Lori Krepps
- Maureen Watson
Organizer and beneficiary