Passion to involvement
I felt the involvement in NW at a very young age. At our home everything was about Nijhof-Wassink and it’s employees, so it was natural that I became a part of the company. When I was 18, there was a new woman needed at the office. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this, but my father was already waiting for me with a prepared contract, so I signed it dutifully. Thanks to everyday contact with our drivers I knew all of them by name, including the names of their wives and children. Now, with more than 1100 employees, it is not possible to remember all the names. But it’s still frustrating when a colleague comes to me and I don’t know his name..
In 2003 my friend and at the same time sister-in-low died. It was really hard for all of us. We were looking for any possible treatments, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Unfortunately metastatic melanoma very often leads to death. Today there are more possibilities, which give patients hope! After her death we established the foundation Over@Leven. In 2008 one of the co-founders was diagnosed with lung cancer. Although doctors in regional hospitals said there was no hope, we didn’t give up on searching new methods of treatment. She died two and half years later, but we proved again that it’s always worth to look further. Because of these experiences we can share today our knowledge and we do it via www.tipsbijkanker.nl. Unfortunately in 2010 my sister also died of cancer.
Despite of heavy losses, when someone comes to our foundation , who needs help, we regain the will of fight. We can advice them, but also help financially. The foundation sells every year a calendar with positive thoughts, to promote a positive approach to life. All the profit is donated to the foundation.
I would advice people who were diagnosed with cancer to spend a week or two to search for all possibilities. Sometimes academic hospitals offer new and innovative methods. Do not begin with the first chemo they offer to you. Search, read, ask and choose the best method for you. Only then you will get back control and at the same time the strength to carry on!
Any person can submit a request for help. Application will be treated confidentially. You can contact us via www.tipsbijkanker.nl
Photo l. to r.: Gerdien Wassink, Margreeth Bruins, Jogé Nijhof