It’s no surprise that some kids can go a little overboard when it comes to their birthday requests. Some want crazy parties with a plethora of games and activities, some just want wildly expensive gifts or tons of toys. While birthdays are a time to celebrate and, yes, receive gifts, we all know one of those kids who tends to get carried away.
Sabine Wortelboer asked for something pretty major for her birthday, and she took to Facebook to share her request. She wanted her birthday plea to reach as many people as possible. But Sabine isn’t like other children compiling a list of possible toys for her big day. 15-year-old Sabine has terminal brain cancer. Even with treatment, the tumor in her brain continued to grow, and doctors feared the young girl wouldn’t have much time left.
With nothing to do but wait, Sabine decided to make her last birthday a memorable one. She posted to Facebook letting her friends and family know that she would no longer be taking any medication. Along with this gut-wrenching information, she also asked her loved ones to do one last thing for her birthday wish: "I would really like it people, for the last time, can send me a whole bunch of cards."
For a young child who has to face some unfathomable tragedies, Sabine’s request is quite a simple one. Thankfully, the internet responded in the most beautiful way. The dying girl was presented with over 30,000 birthday cards and words of encouragement from all over. The Dutch Postal Service even put together a special team to get all of the cards to the young girl’s home.
As more and more cards began to arrive, Sabine’s mother was concerned that her daughter’s time was running short. Without medicine, the 15-year-old was sleeping most of the day. However, as soon as the cards arrived, Sabine’s mother reported that her daughter wasn’t in pain, and was able to read most of the cards. We can’t imagine the amount of joy it brought Sabine to open up each of those cards and realize how many people out there care about her. It may not be a big party, or an extravagant toy, but this birthday wish far exceeds any other.
Sabine took to her blog to thank everyone for the cards, and say her final farewell. "I think it's time to say goodbye. Thank you for everything you've done for me."
Maybe after her wish was granted, Sabine felt at peace, and that it truly was her time to go. While this story is no doubt a sad one, it is beautiful to see people coming together and do something kind for a young child in need. The pain of going through terminal cancer, especially at such a young age, is unimaginable for us, but we’re so glad she was able to read and treasure each one of those birthday cards.
We wish Sabine’s family peace and strength during this trying time.