En Memorium: Ben WielerBarcelona, Fall 2009

Last week, one of our students in the Barcelona program passed away. Benjamin Robert Wieler had a benign brain tumor that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and was originally diagnosed, state-side, as a sinus infection. He had been in critical condition since Monday; and his family was by his bedside in a Barcelona hospital when he passed early Friday morning. The family chose to donate their beloved brother and son's organs to help approximately 50 people in need of various transplants, and will be taking Ben's ashes back to their home in Madison, NJ  upon tying up loose ends here in Spain. The Wielers set up a page for Ben on CaringBridge.org where many people whose lives were touched by him have posted stories of their fond memories of Ben's infectious smile, favorite board games, guitar playing, calculus tutoring and seemingly relentless positive attitude. He was a junior at Middlebury College, studying economics. His family read many of these posts to Ben while he was hospitalized, and continues to cherish these incoming notes as a way to honor his memory. In lieu of ordering flowers for their son's memorial services, the Wielers have opted to set up a scholarship for Spanish-speaking students at Ben's kindergarten, The Madison Montessori School.  "Ben stayed in touch with his kindergarten teacher, Terry Armstrong, who still runs the school.  She nurtured his curiosity and taught him to love learning," says his mom, Susan. There will be a memorial service at the Ramon Llull Chapel tomorrow at noon. All IES Barcelona morning classes and other activities will conclude at 11 a.m. to allow for attendance to the service. If any of you have questions about how to get to Ramon Llul, please contact Olga Sanchez at osanchez@iesbarcelona.org or stop by the Student Affairs area at the Center. Counselors have also been made available to anyone who may need help processing this great loss. ben wieler
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