At just four and a half years old, little Amber was the centre of Noel and Ritianne Bugeja’s life. When she was diagnosed with cancer, the family’s life was turned upside down – seeing their young daughter fighting the disease, before succumbing to it, was hell for the parents.
And then, four years later, Noel found out he too had cancer.
“The last seven years were not easy, but when Amber died, she left us a lot of love which we carry with us every day,” Noel said in an interview with TVM. “We feel her spirit alive among us.”
Having seen his daughter go through what he is going through, Noel looks to Amber as a beacon of strength and a source of resolve.
“I found out that I had cancer, and it came as a big shock for my wife and family – but I prayed to my daughter,” he said. “Even when I undergo treatment, I look at my daughter’s photo.”
With cancer hitting so close to home twice, Noel has dedicated a large part of his life to helping Puttinu Cares, even though he isn’t fully cured of the disease.
Ahead of this weekend’s Puttinu Cares marathon at the Marsa Sports Grounds, Noel is working hard to make sure everything runs smoothly between Friday and Sunday.
Noel is very aware of how important finding love and support in your and your family’s time of need is, with courage and determination central to making it through the toughest battles.
While Noel is resolved to keep working hard and trying to get his health back however he can, he calls on the Maltese public to think about people who might be going through these situations.
“I urge you to come and give donations, and those who can’t come, to call and I thank everyone for their generosity,” he said.
The 60-hour Puttinu Cares Football & Volleyball Marathon runs from today till Sunday. You can find out more information by following this link.