Ex-PBA star Lim Eng Beng fights for life

By Joaquin Henson, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 28 2013 10:27 AM | Updated as of Mar 28 2013 06:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Former La Salle and PBA star Lim Eng Beng said Wednesday he has no money to pay for treatment to fight his liver cancer and begged the Lord to take his life even as friends and relatives are now raising funds to bail him out of financial straits.

“My life has changed since my cancer was confirmed last month,” said the 61-year-old Green Archer. “I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I just stay home, I don’t go out. I want to die. Sometimes, I think of jumping out of a building. I have no money left to pay for my medical bills. My life savings are almost gone.”

Beng, now confined at the De La Salle Medical Center in Dasmariñas, Cavite, said his only option to survive is a liver transplant.

“The cancer is spreading,” he said. “I have a nodule in the liver. First it was two centimeters then 2.7 and now, 3.4. If it reaches five, there is no more cure. Another nodule was just discovered. If doctors remove the nodules, I still have a problem with cirrhosis. So the best way is to get a transplant.”

Beng said he consulted a doctor for a pain in the liver area last September but after an ultrasound spotted a nodule, a later CT-Scan showed no signs. He was even cleared to play in the World Chinese Veterans basketball tournament for seniors in Indonesia last November.

“I didn’t realize I already had cancer when I played,” he said. “When the pain wouldn’t go away, I went for another check-up last January. This time, I went through several tests. I did an ultrasound, CT-Scan and MRI. The results were conclusive.”

Beng recently spent a week at the Makati Medical Center for more tests. At least six doctors attended to him and the conclusion was he had to undergo chemoembolization to stabilize his condition before surgery. The bill shot up to P400,000 before he was released from the hospital without undergoing an operation.

A La Salle alumnus, banker Manny Herbosa, arranged for Beng’s transfer to the Medical Center in Dasmariñas where surgeon Dr. Malen Gellido is supervising his treatment.

With Beng needing at least P3 million for his liver transplant, Filoil Flying V chief executive officer and La Salle alumnus Raffy Villavicencio announced Wednesday that all proceeds of season ticket sales for the Filoil Flying V tournament on April 13-June 12 will be given to the stricken star. Each season ticket is priced at P10,000. Villavicencio said if 300 season tickets are sold, Beng will receive P3 million for his transplant.

“Beng needs financial assistance,” said Villavicencio. “He needs surgery as soon as possible, a liver transplant in order to survive. Filoil Flying V is dedicating the coming tournament in his honor. The La Salle basketball team will carry Beng’s name on every player’s jersey.”

Now on its seventh year, the tournament will parade 18 teams in the men’s division, including UAAP and NCAA schools and CESAFI champion Southwestern University, and entries in the women’s and juniors divisions. Ato Badolato will serve as tournament commissioner.