About a week and a half ago I got a letter saying that I was to hand in my wheelchair by march 8, unless I paid rent each week that I kept it after that date. Dutch health insurance is only allowed to pay for it for six months, and my six months were up. It was a letter I had been dreading. My wheelchair, although frustrating to have to use, has given me a lot of joy since I got it. And I wasn’t ready to part with it.
There was a small change I could get a wheelchair from the government, but I was warned that CFS might not be one of the diagnoses that allowed you to get this. (remember the ‘Legal Shit’ from my previous post?! This is that. Ugh) And even if it did, the wait would be at least 8 weeks. My heart sunk into my shoes. 8 weeks stuck at home. Not really something to look forward too. But I e-mailed the city council nonetheless, even a little spark of hope is better than none, right?! I texted my family and shared it online. Immediately people told me they would help me out if they could. Which made me happy. I might not have a wheelchair, but I had the best people around me.
Little did I know. That my friends who were saying they would help me out, were being very serious about helping me out. My sister started a little fundraiser, asking for help on facebook, so I could buy my own wheelchair. My friends Maartje and Mirjam started e-mailing with my sister. And meanwhile Maartje put up a page on gofundme to see if it might make things a little easier.
And oh boy, did things escalate quickly after that.
Before I even got an e-mail reply from city council the first target was almost reached. And the money just kept coming in. Within 24 hours there was 1000 euros collected. The page was shared all over the internet, by my close friends, by my online friends, by my family, and even by complete strangers. I got the best messages send to me, people wrote insanely sweet things that brought me to tears each and every time. I felt like I was laying in a big tub of love, and as tiresome as it was, I just felt so incredibly happy. It was an insane rollercoaster ride of love, and I’m still not fully recovered and sure what the hell happened those two days. As you can see in my daily sketches from those days. I was alternating between crying out of sheer joy and thankfullness, and staring into nothingness thinking this all must be a dream, cause nothing this great could ever really happen.
Over the course of this past week, the sweet messages, and the money, kept coming in. A dutch artist even wrote about it in her newspaper column. Insane, insane, insane.
The final target of 2000 euros was reached a week after the page went online. Incredible.
This whole week, most of the things coming out of my mouth were something like “this is insane” “this is so surreal” “this is not normal”.
The money is absolutely amazing, I’m not going to lie. All of it will be spent to making my every day life a little bit easier, so I can hopefully recover enough to not even need the wheelchair in the long run.
But the best thing out of all of this is not the money. It’s all the lovin’.
There really are no words to describe how loved and accepted I have felt this past week. I was pretty close to throwing in the towel and giving up. My world seemed to be getting darker and darker. And all of this was just a beam of light shining on me, driving all the darkness away. You guys have no idea what you have done for me, and I don’t think I can ever fully express my gratitude. You have made one of the darkest times of my life, into something so amazing. Thank you, for the bottom of my heart, thank you.
(PS. For those who have no clue what I’m talking about, I suggest you check out the page, it’s still online! http://www.gofundme.com/annikaswheels)
(PPS. This post doesn’t come close to a proper thank you, but it’s all I have the energy for at this time. I will be dedicating many more blogposts to this incredible adventure. In which I hope to truly convey all the happiness you all have brought me. Thank you for understanding <3)