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Run for KiKa

Run for Kika is a post about something serious this time. I would love to share the story of a dear friend Jitske and her partner Gerard. They had a son, his name was Thijs and he passed away due to cancer. Since our daughter Féline passed away too, I know the feeling of losing a child. Their story is completely different though. I want to help them by posting this post.

Run for Kika - www.sofarsosabine.com Gerard Jitske Thijs

Gerard, Thijs, Jitske

Run for KiKa
I saw that Gerad started an amazing initiative. He is going to run for KiKa. Kika is a Dutch organisation for children with cancer.

Gerard tells his story in Dutch (since I have a lot of Dutch readers, I keep it authentic in Dutch, but I translated it in English too. Scroll down). Gerard:

“Het moment dat ik te horen kreeg dat mijn zoon Thijs kanker had was heftig. Ondanks dat veel puzzelstukjes op hun plek vielen, veranderde die ene boodschap mijn leven. Thijs was ineens ziek en die bepaalde zekerheid die ik altijd voelde verdween als sneeuw voor de zon. Je weet wel, dat gevoel van ‘mij overkomt zoiets niet’.

Gevoelens van onzekerheid en wanhoop namen mijn leven over. Maar natuurlijk streed ik voor de gezondheid van Thijs. Mijn leven bestond niet meer uit werken en leuke dingen ondernemen in mijn vrije tijd, maar uit ziekenhuizen, medicijnen en zorgen voor Thijs. Waar ik voorheen mijn eigen keuzes kon maken, werd dat nu grotendeels ingevuld door het ziekenhuis en het behandelplan.

Helaas kreeg ik te horen dat Thijs een hele zeldzame variant van kanker onder de lede had. Een Malignant Rhabdoïd Tumor in de lever met uitzaaiingen naar zijn longetjes. Ondanks de overlevingskans van 6 procent bleef ik (misschien wel tegen beter weten in) optimistisch. De heftige chemo’s leken aan te slaan en Thijs gaf zich niet zomaar gewonnen. Natuurlijk voelde hij zich vaak erg ziek, maar er waren ook genoeg momenten waarop hij zich weer goed en sterk voelde.

Maar waar ik al die tijd al heel erg bang voor was kwam toch uit. De tumor in zijn buik werd resistent tegen de chemo’s en begon weer te groeien. En de boodschap van de oncoloog was keihard. Thijs kon niet meer geholpen worden. Het gevoel dat er dan door je heen gaat is niet in woord of gevoel te omschrijven. Thijs zou het niet halen, en niemand kon daar nog wat aan doen.

De laatste weken van Thijs’ leven waren een hel. Zijn tumor werd zichtbaar groter en de pijnbestrijding moest in steeds hogere dosering ingezet worden. Langzaam glipte Thijs weg uit onze handen. Maar hij bleef strijden en vechten voor wat hij waard was. Hij was altijd gewend na een periode van ziekte weer op te krabbelen. Maar dit keer kon dat niet meer. Op de dag dat Thijs 17 maanden oud werd, overleed hij in mijn armen. Een intens verdrietig moment dat ik nooit meer zal vergeten. Mijn Thijs, mijn grote liefde, was er niet meer.

Waarom ik meedoe aan deze Kikarun?
Nog geen jaar na het overlijden van Thijs heb ik de eigen regie over mijn leven weer opgepakt. Ik gun het geen kind om door het ziekteproces heen te gaan zoals Thijs dat moest. En ik gun het geen ouder om langs de zijlijn te staan met gevoelens van onzekerheid en wanhoop. Samen met jullie hoop ik dat deze ziekte voor ééns en voor altijd de wereld uitgaat. Daar loop en strijd ik voor.”

English, translated by me, the words of Gerard:

“The moment I was told that my son Thijs had cancer was tough. Although many pieces of the puzzle fell into place, that one word changed my life. Thijs was suddenly ill and some assurance I always felt vanished like snow in the sun. You know, that feeling of ‘that will not happen to me’.

Feelings of insecurity and despair took over my life. But of course I fought for the health of Thijs. My life was no longer going to work and fun in my spare time, but it was about hospitals, medicines and taking care of Thijs. Where I previously could make my own choices, was now largely decided by the hospital and the treatment plan.

Unfortunately, I was told that Thijs had a very rare variant of cancer. A Malignant rhabdoid tumor in the liver, spreading to his lungs. Despite the survival rate of 6 percent I stayed (perhaps against better judgment) optimistic. The intense chemotherapy seemed to work and Thijs did not give up without a fight. Of course he was very sick, but there were plenty of moments when he felt well again and strong.

What I feared most, came true. The tumor in his abdomen was resistant to chemotherapy and began to grow again. And the message of the oncologist was hard. Thijs could not be helped anymore. The feeling that then goes through you, can not be described in words or feelings. Thijs would not make it, and no one was able to do something about it anymore.

The last weeks of Thijs’ life was hell. His tumor was visibly larger and the medicine agains the pain had to be increased. Thijs slowly slipped away from our hands. But he continued to struggle and fight for what he was worth. He usually came back stronger after a period being very ill. But this time it was different. On the day Thijs was 17 months old, he died in my arms. An intensely sad moment I will never forget. My Thijs, my great love was gone.

Why I participate in this Kikarun?
Less than a year after the death of Thijs I have picked up control over my own life. I wish for no child to go through this process, being so ill. And I wish for no parent to stand on the sidelines with feelings of insecurity and despair. Together with you, I hope that this disease once and for all stop excisting. Therefore I battle and I run for Kika.”

When will Gerard run for KiKa?
Gerard will run 12th of June 2016 (5KM) and 2nd of October 2016 (10KM). The event is in the Netherlands. You can also run for KiKa if you want. Click here to run or to help as a volunteer at the event (website in Dutch).

How can you help – internationally?
I know these people personally, I met Jitske at my university when I was just 17. These people are great people and their pink cloud of having a baby and all the dreams that come with it were destroyed. I was so sad to hear this news. I really care a lot about them and the least I felt I could do is share this story, being a blogger.
They started a fund and you can help them to support this special run for Kika. You can donate some money. I really hope you will support them here.

Since it’s a Dutch website, I will help you out a little.
1. Click on the purple button “support mij“. It means Support me.
2. Choose the amount of money. Click “volgende”, it means next.
3. Choose “eenmalige machtiging” (it means to pay one time only). Dutch people can use Ideal too.
4. Put your IBAN number. Put your BIC as well.
5. Click “volgende” (it means next).
6. Check the amount and your name, to see if it’s correct.
7. Click “doneer” it means “donate”.
8. You will receive an e-mail direct to confirm your donation.

Please ask me to help you, if it doesn’t work. I can be your translator!

OFCOURSE, sofarsosabine.com donated money too! I think this is the least you can do as a person to help those children and this fund.

!! I AM NOT in collaboration with this fund, or paid to write this, this is truly something that comes from my heart and I just want to help !! There are absolutely no benefits for me if you donate money. Just to be clear.

Please share this article on Facebook, Twitter, by e-mail, any social media. This has to go worldwide, as much as possible. Make Gerads runs worth it even more! <3

I know how hard it is to lose your child, I’m sure this will make the parents of Thijs feel supported. That’s so important. They are not alone. We are all together in this world and human beings. They found an amazing way of supporting this fund. Every one can donate some money to help someone else, if you feel comfortable of doing that this way, amazing. Don’t feel obligated of course.

What will HELP a lot is to write some supportive words to Gerard and Jitske. Please leave a comment to support this run. To support Gerad for doing this run. You can surely give them a minute of supportive words to show your compassion and how great this initiative to run for KiKa is.

Thanks in advance! Love to all of you!

Sabine

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    Hilda
    14 April 2016 at 08:46

    Mooi dat je dit verhaal doet! Ik loop de 5 km voor kika op 12 juni. En de 8 km in drachten voor kwf op 19 juni al :-) en ook juist voor het doel!
    Zet hem op Gerard!

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      14 April 2016 at 23:37

      Wat fijn dat je ook de run for KiKa doet hee!

  • Reply
    Leny
    14 April 2016 at 09:56

    Lief van je Sabine om dit onder de aandacht te brengen, het is inderdaad vreselijk om machteloos toe te moeten kijken naar je kindje dat het niet gaat redden.
    Jitske en Gerard heel veel sterkte en Gerard go for it 😘

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      14 April 2016 at 23:38

      Ja, ik ben blij dat ik op deze manier Run for KiKa onder de aandacht kan brengen. xx

  • Reply
    Maikel
    14 April 2016 at 11:00

    This is such an emotional article. It inspires me to see how Gerard and Jitske have created this charity fund to help others amd work on the KIKA Run. I think its a wonderful fund and have a lot of respect.

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      14 April 2016 at 23:38

      Yes, they are amazing. The Run for KiKa is a great initiative. xo

  • Reply
    Kevin - JustKVN
    14 April 2016 at 11:50

    Heel erg goed dat je dit artikel hebt gedeeld. Het is zeker niet leuk om je kind te verliezen om wat voor reden dan ook.. Kika is een heel mooi fonds voor jonge kinderen! succes Gerard!

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      14 April 2016 at 23:39

      Thanks! Run for KiKa is een belangrijk evenement om te delen!

  • Reply
    Yara
    15 April 2016 at 06:49

    Wat fijn dat je dit deelt! Ik wou dat ik kon meelopen maar het gaat niet. :(
    Echt goed dat er zoiets als KiKa bestaat! Het beste zou natuurlijk zijn dat er een effectieve behandeling bestond voor elke soort kanker.
    Liefs,
    Yara

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      15 April 2016 at 16:02

      Ja, daar hopen we wel voor, dat dat ooit komt zo’n effectieve behandeling. Run for KiKa is wel een mooi initiatief! =)

  • Reply
    ROBERT LEE
    15 April 2016 at 10:13

    This is so sad. Cancer has claimed countless lives and caused immense pain and sorrow. I take solace in the fact that whatever problems I have, and most problems were created by us anyway, there are others who had to go through worse.

    No parent should ever have to bear the passing of a child.

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      15 April 2016 at 16:03

      Thank you Robert. Run for KiKa is something good, so that they help other children to hopefully stay with us. Thank you for the kind words.

  • Reply
    Christa
    15 April 2016 at 11:18

    Wat een mooi doel om op je blog te highlighten, KiKa doet heel goed werk.
    Ik zal dit weekend wat doneren. Wat afschuwelijk dat Gerard en Jitske dit hebben moeten meemaken. In de storm van machteloosheid voelt het vast goed om geld voor onderzoek op te halen dmv deze sponsorloop, het gevoel iig íets te kunnen doen voor andere kindjes zoals Thijs.

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      15 April 2016 at 16:04

      Thijs was hun kindje, die er nu niet meer is. Natuurlijk is het een super mooi doel om dit te doen voor andere kindjes. Zo eren zij Thijs natuurlijk ook. Run for KiKa vind ik echt een top event en ik ben dankbaar dat je zou willen doneren. Dat stimuleert Gerard natuurlijk!

  • Reply
    Maerose JS
    15 April 2016 at 14:22

    This is a wonderful initiative, and I love Holland for this kind of activities. I feel sad, yet inspired by anyone battling cancer. Life is amazing, and they don’t deserve to endure the sickness, but they face it with courage and hope. I sincerely pray for the success of the event, and I’m glad that the parents are coping well after the events of the day.

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      15 April 2016 at 16:05

      Thank you for the kind words! Thijs parents are wonderful people. I hope they get a lot of sponsors with the Run for KiKa!

  • Reply
    Jaymee
    15 April 2016 at 15:53

    There is no word for a parent who loses a child. I just could not find words to say. I almost cried after reading this article. The run for Kika is a great initiative. I wish that the event will be a success.

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      15 April 2016 at 16:08

      Hi Jaymee, since losing a child is terrible, I know from experience myself, is it so important to share this together. That’s why I felt to help out. It’s hard to read, I understand, as well is it beautiful to see that Gerard does this Run for KiKa. Without sharing the post, there would be less sponsors. I think it’s beautiful that we as even strangers, can be there for each other with supporting words.

  • Reply
    Kat
    16 April 2016 at 06:00

    This is so sad, but at the same time it made me hopeful that, after a tragedy, we humans can take actions to help other people not suffer the same fate. This is truly a remarkable initiative by your friends, and I hope with all my heart that they get the funding needed and that more people support this cause.

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      18 April 2016 at 20:04

      Thank you. The run of KiKa looks very successful, they probably will do well =)

  • Reply
    Marge Gavan
    16 April 2016 at 13:05

    It’s wonderful of you to help promote the cause of a friend. Reading the story of Thijs is heartbreaking. Such a cute child, and gone too soon. I hope that fundraising will get all the help it needs.

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      18 April 2016 at 20:04

      Thank you Marge, yes I love to help people. Plus “Run for KiKa” is just amazing to me. So I had to do something.

  • Reply
    Sonnie
    16 April 2016 at 14:38

    Awww, the feeling of helplessness, of a parent, of wanting to do everything to save his child. I can feel both sadness and pain, though I have not gone thru a similar ordeal. I pray no more lovely and joyful babes will go thru the pain of cancer, and parents to watch their little prince and princesses die in their arms.

    I will share this story, hoping to have a similar initiative in PH, and to support the cause of Kika

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      18 April 2016 at 20:05

      Wow, Sonnie, thank you. Hope sharing helps! Much appreciated! Run for Kika is a great example!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    16 April 2016 at 16:06

    This is worth to share. Online world is powerful and this post would definitely contribute a lot. Hoping nothing but the best for this fight!

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      18 April 2016 at 20:06

      I hope so too. The run for Kika is something I didn’t know about until this story.

  • Reply
    Aika Callora
    17 April 2016 at 22:31

    This is so sad. Another Filipino child also died from cancer just recently. She was diagnosed with a rare cancer as well. She was diagnosed on February and died on March 31 on her parent’s arms as well. It was really saddening. :( I pray for all the children who are suffering from any kind of illness.

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      18 April 2016 at 20:07

      Yes it’s hard. The run for Kika is something positive, we hope that people will donate a lot of money for the research.

  • Reply
    Aika Loraine
    18 April 2016 at 00:08

    So sweet of you to promote this good cause. It melts my heart to see babies suffering from sickness. I wish all can be vanished by just one kiss just like a kiss that made Snow Whit awake after eating a poisonous apple. 😫

    • Reply
      sofarsosabine
      18 April 2016 at 20:08

      Yes, if fairytales were only true. I would kiss my baby back too! <3

  • Reply
    Cai Dominguez- Travelosyo
    20 April 2016 at 10:56

    I can feel the pain while reading this message. It could be so heartbreaking watching your baby dying. Though, I cant help financially for this run. I will offer my prayers to the soul of his child.

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