Soccer Game to Benefit Freshman Player’s Father with Cancer Diagnosis

by Zach Freeman

September 17, 2019

Posted in: Athletics

The Lancaster Bible College women’s soccer team, along with the Lancaster Bible Athletic Department will be hosting a benefit game for the Bieber Family on Saturday, September 21, as the Chargers host Penn St. Harrisburg at 3:15 p.m. The game will benefit Andy Bieber and his family, as he battles stage IV Glioblastoma. Andy’s daughter Avery is a freshman on this year’s women’s soccer team, and she, along with her siblings and mother Nichole, will be in attendance at the game on the 21st, and will assist with the pre-game coin toss.

There will be t-shirts available at the game, and donations will be accepted in order to receive a t-shirt. There is no set price, a simple donation of any kind will help the family with expenses. There will also be a bake sale at both the men’s and women’s soccer games on Saturday, and again, proceeds will benefit the Bieber Family.

Saturday’s game will benefit Andy Bieber who was diagnosed with an in-operable brain stem tumor in April of 2018. He has received a multitude of treatments, including radiation, chemotherapy and natural supplements, but in May 2019, Andy’s tumor grew considerably and unexpectedly. It was at that time that his tumor was upgraded to Glioblastoma stage IV, and Andy has begun new treatments.

The new treatments have caused the tumor to shrink a bit, but there are many physical and neurological deficits that Andy now lives with, including the emotional and financial strain on him, his wife and their children. Andy has been unable to work or drive or perform many activities of daily living since his surgery to repair his hydrocephaly which was caused by the tumor location. His wife is his caretaker, and continues to manage their home as well.

Despite all of this, Andy has still been able to continue coaching high school soccer, and while it looks much different than before his diagnosis, the opportunity to mentor and be an inspiration to the young men on his team is immeasurable. “My dad has been amazing, dedicating his time to his family and coaching,” Lancaster Bible freshman Avery Bieber said. “He treats his team as his own sons, and is still a devoted and supportive father.” Avery said through all of her dad’s trials since April 2018, he is the one who is continually giving support to others. “I think most people would retreat and want to get support from others during something like this, but my dad has been the one giving himself every day – it’s unbelievable,” Avery said.

And while her dad continues to be strong in their hometown of Watsontown, Pa., Avery’s first soccer season in a Lancaster Bible College uniform hit a speed bump 10 minutes into her first collegiate game on August 30 against Waynesburg, as she tore her ACL, and will be out for the season. And while the initial shock of the injury left Avery disappointed, she has begun to see how it has all been a part of God’s plan for her life.

“God had a real plan for me here at Lancaster Bible,” Avery said. “He kept me healthy throughout high school and led me here, because here, I have gotten so much support from every single one of my teammates. That’s not to say I didn’t have good high school teammates, but the girls here simply been amazing.” Avery said after her injury, she heard from every player on Lancaster Bible College’s 37-man roster and they have helped change her perspective of the injury.

“I got a message or note from every player on the team,” Avery said. “Even before my injury, I knew the team was close, but the support and help from my teammates since then has been outstanding. My attitude towards my injury has changed completely because of the people around me and my teammates and coaches.”

Andy’s next brain scan will take place on Sept. 23, though regardless of what the scan shows, the family has said they will continue to glorify their Savior and surrender it all, for in Him all things are not only possible, but are made perfect in weakness.

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