Community Comes Together to “Fight Like You’re Abel”

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By Terry Rogers

Throughout the Milford area, organizations are coming together to “fight like Abel,” in an effort to help Abel Heller, a six-year old boy who was recently diagnosed with Wilms Tumor. He recently underwent surgery to remove a tumor on his left side and is undergoing chemotherapy as well as radiation treatment at A.I. duPont/Nemours Hospital.

“Abel is the son of our assistant chief, Brad Heller,” Adam Gillespie of Magnolia Fire Company, said. “We wanted to do something to help them with expenses. Even though they have insurance, they still face co-pays and Abel is facing as much as a year of treatments so his parents are having to travel back and forth.”

In an effort to support Abel and the Heller family, Magnolia Fire Company will hold a “Fight Like You’re Abel” Barbecue and Beer Fundraiser on Sunday, May 21, 2017 from 1 to 6 PM. The event will include barbecue chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, sides and unlimited beer provided by NKS Distributors, Mispillion River Brewing and Fordham Old Dominion Brewing. There will also be a live and silent auction, 50/50 and gun raffles at the event. Music will be provided by the Federal Street Band and there will also be a DJ. Tickets are $35 and are available in advance.

“We want everyone to know this is a public event,” Mr. Gillespie said. “Abel was diagnosed with Stage 4 Wilms Tumor that has spread to his liver and lungs. He is fighting hard and we want as many people as possible to help his fight.”

In addition to the Magnolia Fire Company event, a GoFundMe site has been set up by Jason Osika. To date, the crowdsourcing event has raised over $26,000 of a $40,000 goal to help Abel and his parents with the mounting expenses they are facing as they fight the disease.

Mispillion River Brewing is also conducting several fundraisers as part of the “Fight Like You’re Abel” campaign. Employees donated tips on Friday, April 28 and there was a 50/50 raffle. “We are doing this because Abel’s father is a friend to many of us,” Lauren Bigelow, Sales and Marketing Ninja at Mispillion River Brewing said. “He works for NKS Distributors who sells our beer in Delaware. We held a similar fundraiser on Tuesday, April 25 and raised over $2,100. We will also be selling tickets to the Magnolia Fire Company “Fight Like You’re Abel” event.”

An Abel Heller Fundraising Group has been set up on Facebook to organize fundraising efforts on behalf of the family. Jen Parker is selling #beezstrong bands and Stacy Orona Semans held a Pampered Chef fundraiser for Abel.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Wilms’ tumor is a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children. It is the most common cancer of the kidneys in children, usually affecting children under the age of five.

Information on the “Fight Like You’re Abel” event at Magnolia Fire Company can be found on the fire company Facebook page where an event has been created. Other fundraisers can be found at the Abel Heller Fundraising Page on Facebook. Anyone interested in donating items for the auction, cash or other items for the Barbecue and Beer event should call Adam Gillespie at 302-423-5674, R.W. Rhodes at 302-270-2989 or Robby Nichols at 302-242-4133.

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