Another year has gone by, and it's another Xmas.
Like every year, DowneastBlog wishes its readers of good will heartfelt Merry Christmas!
I just came home from dinner at my mom's house; she had invited our family and my siblings and their families for the yearly supper on the eve of December 25. The company of my sisters and their husbands and their children was pleasant, and the supper absolutely great.
In short, or, as they say in French, "bref", we had a real good time.
So good in fact, that I could not help comparing my blessings to what befalls other people sometimes.
Like Wim D.B., a client whose wife was ten years ago diagnosed with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), had to stop working two years after that, and was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. Last thing I heard, about one year back, was that she was a little better. Then I came across Wim again last week, and I gullibly asked how S. was doing, and the reply was, "S. died in September".
So that's what Wim and his two young sons had to cope with at the exact same time I was enjoying my meal, prepared by an excellent chef from a small but well known, well regarded restaurant in my hometown.
Then last week I also read an article about a forty-three year old former IT manager, a guy by the name of Erwin Vervaet, who suffers from a extremely rare Multiple Sclerosis variant:
Erwin hails from Mechelen, roughly right between Brussels and Antwerp. Like Wim's wife, he got the diagnosis of his disease ten years ago. Until 2010, he could function more or less in an acceptable way. But since that year it's unstoppably downhill. He's confined to his wheelchair now, has troubles with bladder and eyes, and cannot bear heat. There's no medication for his particular MS-variant, unless...
... well, there seems to be a new therapy, called HSCT, which stands for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. However, since the therapy is still in its infancy, it cannot of course be recognized by RIZIV, the Belgian State Institute for Insurance against Disease and Invalidity, and therefore Erwin would have to cough up the 55,000 EUR needed for the treatment himself.
He's desperate, since he's getting worse day after day. He has therefore set himself a goal: collect the money via crowdfunding formula in a mere 60 days.
So, if you want to make a difference, you can do your little bit HERE.
And two days ago, I learned at another client's home that one of their sons sits in class with a ten year old girl, Femke, who first lost her dad in an accident some four years ago - he was in construction, and reportedly made a deadly fall from a scaffold - and just one week ago lost her mother in a botched operation.
I.... don't want to think what Femke is going thru these days.
Anyway, what I want to say is... for those spared by the sort of calamities listed above, we should count our blessings and be GRATEFUL...
There's a world of hurt out there. In the spirit of Christmas, you might want to help a bit, even if you think it don't mean much, to alleviate the pain of others, to offer a shoulder to cry on, to proffer some financial help.
It might make a bigger difference than you think.