By: Anil Van der Zee
One of my good friends’ daughter Havana (12) surprised me with a very beautiful video message. She did something really incredible. I was so moved by it I felt it needed to be made public. Here’s what she wrote about it:
Havana: “When our teacher asked us to set up a campaign for a good cause, I thought of Anil. Anil is a friend of my mother who suffers from ME. Since there is not much I can do for him, I saw this as an opportunity to make a gesture. It is hard to see him suffer, he does not deserve this!
By donating the money we raised, we hope to help the scientists that are researching ME, even if it is just a little bit!
I asked three friends to join me to raise money for this cause. They liked the idea, and so I explained to them what ME is.
The next step for the four of us was to think of ways to raise money, e.g. selling products or offering services. We already decided to head to a busy spot in the city, and my mother came up with the idea to make brooches/ blue ribbons (pins) with the ME logo. We sold these. Also, one of my friends baked 40 cupcakes. We took them with us to Dam Square, Amsterdam , where we asked people and explained to them what ME is about. Many cupcakes were sold and brooches were pinned! In our best English/German/French we tried, and managed, to convince many tourists as well.
We had a lot of fun and what excited me the most was being able to help people suffering from ME.
At the end of the day I counted our revenues. We raised a total of € 139.60! It had been a great day and I was very happy with all we did that day.”
Click here to watch a video Havana produced about the experience.
Anil: For me it was the first time since I fell ill that someone was raising money for ME & me. Raising awareness without my asking for it. As a patient I am raising awareness a lot because I’m ill. It’s in my own best interest.
I see people raise money for other well known illnesses which I obviously support. But ME just doesn’t have that thing yet. Though the illness really deserves it. Specially with the underfunding it’s suffering from.
I admit, it saddens me. Specially for the situation I’m in. Bedbound, in the dark in a sound isolation cabine, and really not improving but rather worsening, and since 2005 no federal funding for biomedical research in the Netherlands …..But it is what it is, but the vicious cycle needs to be broken so biomedical research can progress faster
So to have these amazing young ladies and especially Havana step it up like this left me speechless and with tears in my eyes. Can’t thank them enough. A humbling experience really.
It just felt like a soft warm blanket of love that covered me. Wow.
As they sold Blue Ribbons there was no doubt in my mind that the money needed to go to the Blue Ribbon Foundation. And as they are young ladies and the BRF has a program to attract young scientists it was just perfect.
I think these amazing girls set an example for the adult world. They just went out there and raised money and awareness.
Maybe it could be a thing? I ask everyone who reads this to follow in their footsteps and go out and sell a few cupcakes with blue ribbons or sing a few songs, do a little dance, make some drawings. Anything. We really need your help.
Thank you again girls and thank you, Havana. Heroes, that’s what you guys are.
Want to help the Blue Ribbon Foundation in its mission to educate scientists?! You can do it via PayPal below!