Calgary, Alberta

Joel Yana of Calgary has started a GoFundMe campaign to help his friend Roel,who has been stricken with cancer.

Joel writes:

Hi everyone, I have set up a GoFundMe for my friend Roel Omampo. Last month he was diagnosed with Stage 4b colorectal cancer. The cancer is aggressive. It has spread to his liver. Roel is 37. He and his wife Cris are the proud parents to two daughters.

The global pandemic resulted in Roel getting laid off from his job shortly before his diagnosis. His wife is at home helping to take care of Roel and their daughters.

I met Roel through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu back in 2014. He had moved from the Philippines just 2 years prior. He had come to Canada to earn enough money to eventually sponsor his family to join him in Calgary. Although he didn’t have a vehicle, Roel would take the bus to / from training, often spending more time on the bus than the actual duration of the class. That’s dedication.

In 2016 Roel was able to finally reunite with his family and bring them to Canada. His hard work paid off.

Over the years, Roel and I were teammates at various clubs. During that time his BJJ journey would require a few pauses. Financially he had to put his family first. But he never gave up on his journey. Eventually he ended up at 101 Academy, which is affiliated with my team Kodokan YYC. Early this year Roel’s persistence paid off and he was awarded his blue belt from his professor CJ Hollett. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

I loved this video that his professor posted:…

Roel is one of the nicest, most humble, and hard working people I know. As I stated previously, Roel’s cancer has spread to his liver and he cannot undergo surgery. He has the toughest battle of his life ahead of him. He has vowed not to give up, for the sake of his family. I am hoping to raise some funds in order to help his family cover essential expenses during this difficult time in their lives.

This post has been set to public. Please share this on your social media and help spread the word so that we can help Roel and his family.…

According to Joel, Roel lost his job at a downtown Tim Horton’s due to the pandemic (and subsequent closure of most of downtown Calgary) and was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer last month.  He cannot work and his wife stopped working in order to take care of him.  They have 2 daughters and no other family in Calgary.  I started a GoFundMe for him to help them cover expenses.