|Ended||September 30, 2012|
|Ruth's condition||Stomach cancer|
The Ruth Webber Fund is a donation drive started to help the family of Ruth and Paul Webber out in their time of need as they battle Ruth's stomach cancer. The fund was initiated in February of 2012. At the end of September of that same year, the push to save Ruth's life came to an end. The desire to continue the fight, so as to prevent others from having to die of her condition, persists.
Who are the Webbers?Edit
Ruth seemed to have the ideal new married life; having come from a home where her biological father had died of stomach cancer. She determined to make the most of her educational experiences, and married a young ministry student in the ELS named Paul Webber in the hopes of achieving said goals.
Paul is related to Sarah and Catherine Webber, friends of Blue Face and Farewell Graduate veteran the RW. Sarah married Matthias Leyrer, becoming Sarah Leyrer. Rachael acquired the last name of "Weber," (no immediate blood relation to the "Webber" family) via marriage to organist and composer Jacob Weber. The whole troupe of them have history with both Michigan Lutheran Seminary and Bethany Lutheran College.
Paul and his wife Ruth were rejoicing at the prospect of having their first child, when Ruth began having some pain and various other health complications. Doctors took her in, and determined that her stomach was completely overtaken by cancer. She had developed a similar stomach cancer to the one that had killed her father. But Ruth, ever determined, was not about to let her father's killer get the best of her.
Paul and Ruth had a lot of options to weigh; as it was dangerous to expose their child to either radiation or chemo. And the cancer was too far progressed to be treated with surgery alone. Worse, Paul could not afford the expensive procedures out of his own pocket. He was a broke seminary student hoping to become a minister. And by that, an ordinary minister; not a rich televangelist.
The baby born earlyEdit
Rather than wait until 32 weeks and risk exposing the baby to all the poisons that would be applied on Ruth to kill the cancer, the baby was delivered at 28 weeks and kept in an incubator. Young John Wilde Webber was born at 7:43 AM CST on February 7th, 2012. He was then baptized around 10:30 AM the same morning. It was only a very short amount of time before John was able to breathe on his own.
A donation drive is bornEdit
Later in February, Ruth began chemotherapy. The RW (not to be confused with Ruth) and her husband, with their various connections, decided that something had to be done to offset the costs of saving Ruth's life. The Ruth Webber Fund was soon born, with such offshoots as "Roses for Ruth" popping up in churches around the United States. Those who couldn't donate were encouraged to join the Prayer Group, which formed its own Facebook group page in February. To date, there are dozens of countries participating in either the donations or the prayer group. This has to do with the fact that the Webbers were a missionary family for many years; and therefore have friends in multiple countries. A prayer map shows locations where everyone is lending some support or another for Ruth.
The numbers are inEdit
On February 29th, Ruth showed interest in anyone willing to donate hair for a wig, as she was confident she'd lose her hair from the chemo. At 12:38 AM CDT on September 30th of 2012, Ruth was said to have breathed her last. She was confirmed deceased a very short while later. She was 24 years old.
She left 702 Facebook friends in her wake. Her influence resulted in a Pray for Ruth Webber group on Facebook, which yielded a membership of 3,272 members at the time of her death. A Google search at 9:20 PM EDT on September 30th of 2012 for "Ruth Webber stomach cancer" yielded 7,560 search results on Google. Blogs from Blogger to Wordpress to Tumblr lit up with rhetorical questions and expressions of mixed sorrow and relief. DeviantArt user "ladynaevia" dedicated her composite piece "We Are Only Asleep" in Ruth's honor that same day. Credits went to "celtic-stock" for the horse used, and to "Momotte2stocks" for the background. The composite earned 250 views in a single day, as well as 63 favoritings, 2 downloads, and 12 comments.
- ↑ Webber, Paul. "Pray for Ruth Webber." (Facebook group page).