Classifieds powered by Gulf News

Kidney failure hits ex-singer Norman Montibon

Former Dubai rock band frontman who needs a kidney transplant appeals to Good Samaritans for help

APPEAL FOR HELP: Norman Montibon, 40, former Dubai rock band frontman who needs a kidney transplant

Dubai: Norman Montibon, 40, hogged the limelight during his prime as the frontman for his band. 
Now, in a sudden twist of fate, he’s fighting a double kidney failure for which the only long-term solution is a costly kidney transplant.

In his salad days, Montibon fronted the R’n’B and dance band, Hip2Soul, performing in five-star hotels in Asia — from Hong Kong to Tokyo — for eight years.

In 2007, he and his band moved to Dubai and wowed music aficionados at Ratsky, a popular hangout in town for hard-rock junkies.

At about that time, he gave up smoking and alcohol. A year later, he decided to quit singing and take up a job as a barista earning Dh3,500 a month, and at times, supplying food to Dubai construction workers from a containerised store.

“I’ve always known and enjoyed night and band life. It was fun for a while, but I decided to downscale and live a quieter life,” he said, adding he turned to basketball, the gym and healthier food.

“I put on weight.”

In October last year, when he started a slimming regime, something went terribly wrong. Following a bout with on-and-off fever, loss of appetite, dizziness, chills and cramps, Montibon was diagnosed with kidney failure.

After a second opinion by a doctor confirmed the condition, he started dialysis on January 29, 2013. “I am aware that kidney transplant is beyond my means,” he said.

“There are moments when I feel weak due to my condition, but my friends and family keep me strong.”

Today, due to his condition (which includes thrice-a-week dialysis at Ajman’s Shaikh Khalifa Hospital), Montibon is unable to find a job and his visa is undergoing cancellation. His friends pitch in for his medications, which cost around Dh1,000 per month.

“I don’t have a family history of kidney failure,” said Montibon. He suspects his condition may have been made worse by a long-held habit of drinking fizzy drinks instead of water after meals.

“I was also into salty food.”

Some of his friends appealed to Manila-based charities, while those in the music industry staged charity shows to help him, the latest of which was held on August 2 featuring several of Manila’s leading bands who gathered for jam-for-a-cause session in Makati.

Montibon said that he has not lost hope. He said he is encouraged by the recovery of a fellow musician, Philip Sangalang, who had a long bout with kidney trouble, but is now back in the music circuit after recovering.

“For the moment, I want to forget about my illness and live a normal life. I am well. It’s just cough and cold. Tomorrow, I’ll be fine… Of course, I’m only dreaming. But I won’t stop believing… God is great.

“I still want to live, spend time with my loved ones. I appeal to the innate goodness of people who have the ability to help me in this greatest performance of my life,” he said


Your comment


Add Your Comment

Click Here

Latest Comment

Pls dont leave hope, Allah is great. I have the same problem since 2007. I was also in dubai and was staying in Bur Dubai during 2001-04. I'm on dialysis and living a normal life. Just have faith in Allah. HE will take care of everything.

Salim G Shaikh

8 August 2013 12:33jump to comments