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Local Nurse Auctioning Autographed 49ers Football for Medical Mission

Rebecca Stange is hoping her football signed by members of the 49ers will help fund a trip to provide medical aide to Guatemalan villagers.

While the 49ers’ hot season may have come to a halt last weekend, local nurse Rebecca Stange is hoping her autographed football will still fetch a pretty penny from the team’s faithful fans and help fund an upcoming medical trip.

Currently up for bid on eBay is Stange’s football signed early in the 2011 season by more than 40 of the team’s players, including Alex Smith, Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and other stars. The ball will make a great addition to a 49ers fan’s collection to commemorate the historic season, she said.

The ball went up on the auction website’s charity section on Saturday with a starting bid of $100. Bidding ends Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.

All proceeds are tax-deductible and will go to Faith in Practice, the nonprofit organization facilitating Stange’s mission.

“I just thought it would be a neat way to generate funds and raise awareness,” she said.

On Feb. 10, Stange, a lifelong Union City resident and nurse at Washington Hospital, will embark on a weeklong surgical mission trip to Retalhuleu, Guatemala with fellow nurses and doctors to treat underserved patients. The patients wouldn’t receive medical attention otherwise, Stange said.

Each day, Stange will assist in the operating from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The money raised in the online auction will help pay for medical supplies, Stange said.

She said she’d be happy even if the ball only grabs $200.

“If I get $200, that’s $200 worth of products and anesthesia. It can go to one surgical case that we’ll be doing,” she said.

The medical mission, which lasts from Feb. 10 to 18, will be Stange’s first, though she’s wanted to do it ever since she became a nurse.

“It’s just something I’ve wanted to do to help these people … There’s no medical care in these remote places,” she said.

“About 20 years ago, the nurses and doctors I worked with did the same exact thing in Guatemala as well, but I was pregnant and couldn’t go,” she added. “I finally said, ‘It’s time.’”

The reason Stange waited so long to go was because some of the areas may be dangerous. The nurses and doctors will be escorted by armed guards, she said.

Stange had hoped to put the 49ers football up for auction sooner — in time for last weekend’s NFC Conference Championship game against the Giants — but had to wait for Faith in Practice to send an official letter in order to get it listed on eBay.

“That was the big dilemma,” she said.

Those interested in owning the autographed football while donating to a worthy cause can bid on the item on eBay by clicking here.

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