The sheer scale of the response to is mind-boggling
When 15-year-old Sabine Wortelboer was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, she made the difficult decision to forego invasive procedures, treatments, and medicines so that she could live out her remaining days happily with a clear mind.
It’s been just a few weeks since she learned that the tumor would continue growing, but the decision for her was clear from the moment she heard the news. Her story was already known to many, as the local media had been covering her fight and the heartbreaking turn her condition had taken.
Sabine staat vandaag in De Gelderlander. We hopen dat ze bergen post en liefde gaat ontvangen ❤️ https://t.co/jlnMGwhoyH— No Guts No Glory (@No Guts No Glory) 1493454613.0
Sharing the tragic update with family and friends on social media, she made a plea to anyone her message would reach. Sabine requested, "I would really like it people, for the last time, can send me a whole bunch of cards."
It didn’t take long for strangers and loved ones alike to answer the plea in resounding fashion, with 33,000 cards (indeed, a “whole bunch”) sent her way, and the postal service needing something more substantial than a mailbag to cart the torrent of kind messages.
Her home has turned into something of a mail depository as well, though I’m sure they’re more than happy to house the trove of mail for Sabine to pore over, filling her with love in her final days.
.@stichtingNGNG De post is weer geweest. Kijk nou toch, heb er geen woorden voor. Zoveel lieve mensen! Heel veel da… https://t.co/zSmQMfLMXZ— Ellen (@Ellen) 1493641670.0
.@stichtingNGNG Heb nu echt even geen woorden meer. Er kwamen net 33.000 kaarten!! JULLIE ZIJN GEWELDIG! Liefde ter… https://t.co/mwuAW1eolM— Ellen (@Ellen) 1493720547.0
Her most recent message is, again, heartbreaking, but the size of the audience surely reminds Sabine and her family of all the love that has been sent her way during the fight to this point and beyond.
She says, "I think it's time to say goodbye. Thank you for everything you've done for me."
It may be hard to find a silver lining in this story, but it’s clear that this 15-year-old may have been the beneficiary of more expressions of love and hope than most people get in a much longer lifetime.