Last week there was an emotional story on the 94.7 Breakfast Express radio show about a baby boy in need of very rare surgery. Caylum Willemse is in need of surgery and there is only one doctor in the world who can do the job. Caylum’s mum came on the air and described what it’s like for them as parents to watch their child fight for his life every day. She also talked about all the help they had received so far which was overwhelming. One story in particular stood out. A car guard had emptied his pockets and gave his day’s earnings to Caylum’s mum R28.00 ($2.00) and said that he would be able to sleep tonight because he knows that he did his part to help Caylum. I was in tears throughout the broadcast but hearing that just really broke me.
We’re always quick to say that we barely have enough for ourselves and that’s why we can’t help another. I’ve heard things like “well if I help one, how many more are there going to be? I can’t help everyone.”
Just two days earlier I had donated to a young girl from my hometown who needs surgery for a stem cell transplant but I could not turn my back on Caylum. I went with the smaller donation on the text line and Mr C transferred a small amount into Caylum’s account. The ladies I work with were also listening to the show on the way to work that morning. They also made a R20 donation via the text line and urged their partners to do the same.
Do what you can with what you have.
(This has been my mantra for the last 2 weeks and I will continue to live by it.)
The family needs over R5 million ($361 000) to get their son to Boston for this and were about R1 million short of their target that morning. They were able to exceed this target by the time the radio show was over. So many people opened up their hearts. There were little donations – like a little kid giving up his lunch money and there were big donations – like Veronica who donated R50 000 ($3600) in her personal capacity.
You can listen to the show on SoundCloud here. (Skip ahead to 24:50 for Caylum’s story. Make sure you have lots of tissues on hand!)