It has been a difficult several months for Brandon University nursing student Mulugeta Atomissa-Negaro, and the heavy course load that comes with the health studies faculty is likely among the least of his concerns. Not only is Atomissa-Negaro a new father to a baby boy, which comes with sleepless nights and potential financial stress in itself, but his wife is battling advanced breast cancer. Wesene Wegaso, Atomissa-Negaro’s wife was eight months pregnant with their son David when she received her diagnosis, and consequently gave birth a month early. In the midst of Wegaso’s diagnosis and premature delivery, she missed applying for Blue Cross maternity benefits by two days.
Atomissa-Negaro supports his family financially through two jobs in addition to his schoolwork. In order to help him stay in school while Wegaso gets the treatment she needs and stays home with David, who turns one next month, Gail Freeman-Campbell, CEO/owner of Daughters On Call has set up a trust fund at Sunrise Credit Union for the family, and a GoFundMe page was also set up by the community. The GoFundMe page has received $14,500 at the time of publishing. The funds raised will help the family with their living expenses, as Wegaso’s Employment Insurance benefits and Pharmacare cover the cost of her treatment, but do not provide coverage for pain medication.
The family remains optimistic that between the community’s kindness, their doctors’ continued support, and their faith in their religion, Wegaso will receive a clean bill of health.