Sometimes it is really fun to be part of the Niner Faithful. After a big comeback victory or a playoff win for example. It fills you with a sense of pride. Maybe this feeling comes about when you are celebrating with the fans around you at Levi's Stadium after a 49ers touchdown. However, when it is all said and done, none of that really matters in the grand scheme of things.
Then there are times when you are truly proud to be part of the Niner Faithful. You are proud to be part of a group that can easily put aside their differences of opinions and unite when it really matters. This is one of those times.
Every morning, we wake up and go about our days and don't really think much of it. However, what if you knew that you only had one or two months to live?
Oscar Garcia, who goes by the handle "oscarug" in our forums, has been a huge fan and member of this site for the past ten years. His long battle with Sarcoma Cancer, a rare form of cancer that impacts about 10,000 people a year, appears to be nearing an unfortunate end.
He has been fighting this attack on his body since 2011. Multiple major surgeries and numerous aggressive treatments later, he is not any closer to being cured. He has now started hospice, which is an type of care that focuses on the terminally ill, their pain and symptoms, and attends to their emotional and spiritual needs. Oscar's doctors at UCSF, Kaiser, and UCLA are out of options and believe that he has only one or two months to live.
Oscar, who is only 33 years old, is now looking to help his family with the financial burden of what lies down the road. He is hoping to raise money to help with funeral costs and has started a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe.
He also hopes that his story will help spread more awareness of this cancer and help raise money for research against it. This type of cancer is so rare that, according to Oscar, almost no research is being done to combat it.
Traditional surgeries to remove tumors have only resulted in the growth of more. The cancer has grown resistant to other treatments and radiation was not an option because of where the tumors are located.
Yesterday, Oscar went on our forums and shared his story with his fellow Niner Faithful, perhaps only hoping for a few contributions from a small number of fans.
"Got a bucket list going on now and going to live each day like it's my last," said Oscar while sharing his story. "I've seen the power of the Webzone do some special things," he added.
Oscar didn't check the thread again for the rest of the day. At this point, he had been fundraising for ten days and raised $1,810 toward his $15,000 goal.
Later that night, likely while he slept, the forum thread took off. An outpouring of support came from the fans on this site and beyond. An article was written to share his story and try to gain some awareness of Oscar's horrible situation.
The article took off and his story was shared by dedicated 49ers fans everywhere. Beat writers like Matt Maiocco, Matt Barrows, Ryan Sakamoto, and others shared the story on Twitter.
The next morning, Oscar woke up and picked up his phone. He went to his favorite website, 49erswebzone.com, to catch up on the latest team news. What he saw was unexpected. Tears of joy flowed down his face as he saw a lead story dedicated to telling his tale. His wife Heather woke up to him crying, thinking that he was in pain. He showed her the phone and she began to cry. Overnight, the Niner Faithful had helped him raise over $3,500 more toward his cause.
"Thank you guys so much," he told his fellow fans within our forums. "From the bottom of my heart I can't express how much all your love and support have touched us."
Oscar went on to say, "The power of the Webzone once again continues to amaze me. I feel so blessed. God sends his angels to help the people in need and I feel like God is looking down on me right now and smiling."
24 hours after the article was published, 49ers fans have helped Oscar add $5,655 to his initial $1,800 total as he closes in on the halfway mark toward his goal. A mere 24 hours earlier, 21 people had donated to his cause. Since yesterday, 147 additional people have contributed to help a fan in need.
These are the moments that you are truly proud of the Niner Faithful fan base. At times, as with any team going through a massive transition, fans can bicker beyond belief. However, when it comes to the Niner Faithful, if they see a hurting fan in need, they step up in a big way and do whatever they can to help.
Oscar and his wife have two young children named Bradley and Morgan.
If you can't give, he would at least like to create more awareness about Sarcoma Cancer so feel free to share his story. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Oscar and his family during this very tough time.