PPF, Inc. is saddened to announce that Bill lost his hard fought battle with sarcomatoid mesothelioma on July 17, 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Karen, daughter, Merry and the rest of Bill’s family and friends.
Bill Wiegel’s Frederick News Post obituary.
Bill Wiegel has been a faithful public servant since age 16 when he joined the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department. During those 50 years, he’s served Montgomery, Frederick, and Washington Counties either as a volunteer fireman, Fire Chief, first responder, or in Emergency Communications. Currently, Bill works for the Frederick County Emergency Preparedness/GIS Mapping team and is part of the KME/Kovatch Antietam Fire Apparatus sales team serving several counties in MD, VA, and WV.
After almost a year of pain in his left chest and shoulder, trips to chiropractors, neurologists, acupuncturists, orthopedists, and a slew of other specialists Bill was finally able to find out what was causing the pain and the knot in his chest. In late January, they discovered his ‘knot’ was in fact a tumor, however, it appeared as a localized sarcoma, but in Mid-March, after further investigation, his team at Johns Hopkins identified his mass as sarcomatoid mesothelioma, which accounts for 10-15% of all mesothelioma diagnoses. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is notoriously resistant to treatment and because of that (and who he is) he was willing to join a clinical trial with NIH or NCI, however, there aren’t any currently open. Instead, after speaking with the team at NIH, his Doctor at Johns Hopkins is using the same ‘chemo cocktail’ and treatment regimen they are trialing. (So he’s gets the more aggressive experimental treatment without officially being in the ‘test group.’)
Because of the fluid buildup in/around the lung (a by-product of the cancer), what he calls ‘his spigot’ had to be inserted to allow for drainage. Not all of his supplies are covered by his insurance plan and some of his necessary testing and treatments aren’t either. Those added expenses coupled with co-pays, transportation back and forth to Johns Hopkins weekly, and the expenses considered “medically unnecessary” place a huge strain on finances. We want him to concentrate on fighting this disease and working with his treatment team toward a cure rather than worrying about how to pay for everything.
The outpouring of prayer and encouragement from family and friends has been amazing, Bill is used to being the one in control and command of situations, so this is an entirely new experience for him that’s both humbling and gratifying and we are all so thankful for those that have already reached out with offers of rides, prayers, and kind words.
After years of Bill being the one to help others, either through a fire, automobile accident, or on the other end of thousands of 911 calls, he now needs YOU to help him. We hope and pray that the community he has served so faithfully will come together and rally around him and his family. Thank you, again for all of your prayers and support. God bless you for your kindness.