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Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

Helping Benny help Marsha’s battle with cancer

Latest News

Mullumbimby railway station burns down

At around midnight last night, a fire started which engulfed the old Mullumbimby railway station. It's been twenty years since the last train came through, but the building has been an important community hub, providing office space for a number of organisations, including COREM, Mullum Music Festival and Social Futures.

Other News

Mullumbimby railway station burns down

At around midnight last night, a fire started which engulfed the old Mullumbimby railway station. It's been twenty years since the last train came through, but the building has been an important community hub, providing office space for a number of organisations, including COREM, Mullum Music Festival and Social Futures.

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Benny Zable and the IMAGINE artwork he created in Allsop Park, Nimbin. Photo Tree Faerie.

If you live on the Far North Coast and you don’t know who Benny Zable is, then you haven’t ‘lived’ on the Far North Coast.

Benny Zable’s ‘Greedozer’ – an iconic protest character. Photo David Lowe.

Benny Zable has been a long time resident and more importantly a very active artivist in the fight to save the environment – in campaigns from Terania to Tasmania, New York to Jabiluka; dancing with his beautiful flags, performing his characters Greedozer and Zany Bubbles, bringing colour, drama and joy to activism.

Benny and Marsha

Benny met Marsha Silvestri in NYC in 2015. From opposite ends of the planet they found each other; a perfect match that sparked a magical love story, becoming true partners in work, play, dance and romance. They described themselves as socially and spiritually compatible on every level.

Benny and Marsha married in 2017.

Both environmental and peace activists, they complemented each other beautifully as a team. The couple blissfully married in 2017 and expected to share the rest of their lives happily together.

Wanagi Zable Andrews, who is organising the GoFundMe with the couple on their wedding day.

Benny’s son Wanagi Zable-Andrews says the problems began when Benny, an Australian citizen, had to return to home to attend to urgent matters, and since then has been denied return entry to the US four times by US immigration to be with Marsha.

‘Why? Because they were married! As ironic and unbelievable as it sounds, their marriage was the main cause for the denials,’ says Wanagi.

Benny and Marsha’s challenge and story is too long to explain here, but they have launched a new fundraiser as a plea for help with Marsha’s current health crisis.

An advanced cancer diagnosis

Peas in a pod, Marsha and Benny are kindred spirits.

A few weeks ago, on December 1, after months of being neglected by the mainstream medical system, Marsha was given an advanced cancer diagnosis. She is now in a very serious condition with a fast aggressive cancer that worsens every day. She needs urgent care.

Marsha has no faith in mainstream western medicine treatments of cancer (invasive surgery, chemo or radiation). She tragically watched her father die from chemo and radiation, and vowed to never do that to herself. She has followed natural medicine practices for much of her life, which helped her survive many previous health challenges. She believes she would not be alive today had she followed the allopathic route.

Marsha Silvestri.

Wanagi Zable-Andrews says the entire mainstream medical model taught in US med schools is based on profit over people. ‘The corruption throughout the system favours and only allows the most expensive and invasive treatments. Anything natural or non-invasive that Pharma cannot patent and control has been either banned, outlawed, or is extremely difficult to access unless you have lots of money.’

A healthy lifestyle

Marsha managed to stay quite healthy over the last 35 years by living a pure balanced lifestyle – until COVID struck. The first few months of the pandemic she was unable to find work, so without an income began eating fewer organic, healthy foods.

Oh they love to dance…

Emotionally she became depressed over the lockdowns, unable to connect with her circles of friends, family, loved ones, spiritual and art communities and uplifting activities with everything restricted and closed. They even closed public parks, beaches and gardens, so being out in nature was prohibited. She was also depressed and angry over the US immigration system that denied her and Benny from being together.

Around May of 2020, desperate to support herself, she took the only job she could find, working for a local tavern/restaurant for minimum wage. It was heavy work in a less than congenial atmosphere.

Being highly chemically sensitive, she was poisoned with severe allergic reactions about a dozen times from toxic materials they use throughout the restaurant and delivery van.

A depleted healthy lifestyle

Exhaustion and a depleted healthy lifestyle has meant that when she got COVID in November 2020 she was hit hard. Marsha stayed at home, she self-treated with herbs and supplements, and fully recovered in about 10 days.

Benny hopes to fly out next week to be with Marsha in the US. Photo Tree Faerie.

The rest of 2020 and 2021 presented other personal challenges but STILL her main wish and dream for the past four years has been to be reunited with Benny. Her priority goal now is to heal and survive this disease (and be with Benny again). As she faces the most difficult challenge of her life, her future is uncertain.

Treatment for Marsha

There are two clinics in Mexico which Marsha is considering: Hope4Cancer, and the Gerson Center. Each one offers top-notch alternative cancer treatment, but comes at a very high price.

Marsha and Benny in New York.

Wanagi has set up a fundraising page to get Marsha the treatment to help her recover. Benny and Marsha’s friends and family are requesting anyone who is able to contribute to a GoFundMe fundraiser. ‘If you can’t give at this time, your prayers are also welcome,’ says Wanagi.

For more information, visit the fundraiser page at: www.gofundme.com/f/help-bennys-wife-marsha-get-urgent-health-care.

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