This Terminally Ill Boy Is Giving Manis For The Most Inspiring Reason

It’s tough to imagine how one might handle a terminal disease diagnosis as an adult: Would we shut down completely? Bring family and friends closer? Spend every last cent on a luxurious vacation? Now imagine being delivered that heartbreaking blow as a 6-year-old kid. It’s a horrific scenario, but one that a Dutch child named Tijn has responded to in the most inspiring way.

After being diagnosed with brain cancer, Tijn set out to make other kids’ lives better. “He wants to raise money for children in the developing world who might not even make it to 6,” the boy’s father told the Netherlands publication De Telegraaf. To do so, Tijn created a campaign with radio program 3FM Serious Request in which he challenged others to donate one euro for every set of nails he paints. (As a quick bit of background, 3FM Serious Request is an annual six-day, around-the-clock event in which radio DJs team up to raise money for the International Red Cross.) To say the effort has caught on like wildfire would be an understatement.
While Tijn gives manicures, others looking to participate are painting their own nails and donating one euro — or are keeping fingers polish-free and donating 10 euros — to the specific cause, which will help prevent children from dying of pneumonia. What’s more, the endeavor is allowing Tijn to shift his focus off his terminal diagnosis. "We cannot make him better. But we can temporarily make his life somewhat more fun,” his father told the publication.

In response, thousands, including local celebrities, have taken to Twitter to show their support and nominate others (including Katy Perry) to get involved.
So far, an astounding 2.6 million euros (about $2.7 million) has been raised, according to the campaign’s site. Those who want to get involved can donate and post a picture of painted nails with the hashtag #lakaan (which translates as "paint on" from Dutch) and #SR16 to help spread the word. It’s an effort that not only gives new meaning to the term “spirit fingers,” but is — by far — the best reason to get a fresh mani for NYE.

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