Sons of AMVETS give back to Vietnam veteran with brain cancer

Posted at 9:42 PM, Jan 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 22:38:36-05

BYRON CENTER, Mich. -- A Vietnam veteran in Byron Center who has stage four brain cancer is getting some help from sons of AMVETS from Post 23.

Frederick Scheele, a Navy veteran, served for 12 years.  He values his freedom, but lately, he's been a prisoner in his own home.

Scheele is barely able to move the entire left side of his body.  He has fatigue and pain on a daily basis.

"The last time I went to the doctor, he said 'You got three months left,'" Scheele said.

Scheele also said he hasn't been able to get the help he needs.  Some of his brothers and sisters from the AMVETS Post 23 in Kent County are making sure that is no longer the case.

"What ends up happening is by the time the medical company, or the VA and things get around to... getting a [wheelchair] to folks, sometimes it's too late," said Dale Peplinkski with Sons of AMVETS.

The AMVETS from Post 23 were able to acquire a ramp and an electric wheelchair for Fred, something that would have cost him and his family tens of thousands of dollars.

"This really gets to my heart," Scheele said through tears.

Today, Scheele isn't thinking about his illness.

"People like this are making my life so much easier and so much like it's worth living again," he said.  "I couldn't believe it that people are going out of their way to help me."

Scheele is thrilled that he'll have his freedom back to live out the time he has left.

"We owe him for our freedom," said Doug Coke with Sons of Amvets.  "So we pay it back."

There is a fundraiser for Fred Scheele Saturday at 1 p.m. at Post 23, 98 52nd St.  SE in Grand Rapids.  There will be a silent auction, a live auction, dinner and live music.  All proceeds go to helping him and his family with his medical bills.