In stead of travelling to beautiful places, Frederik dedicated his last months to improving other patients’ lives. And he has an extremely important message for us all.
This story starts sad, but please continue reading it and watch the video below, as it contains a message that’s extremely important to us all.
Living the life
Frederik van den Broek fully enjoyed life. He loved partying, lived in Amsterdam, NY and Barcelona, had loads of friends and a great job as user experience designer in the financial sector. He was living ‘the’ life.
A few months left…
But then fate hit him. Hard! In March 2015 he heard that he had a big brain tumor – and unlike in 2012 when they found a tumor for the first time – this time it could not be cured. He was told he only had a few months left to live.
Let that sink in for a minute…
Frederik’s response to this terrible news did not paralyse him. Nor did he decide to travel the world. No, he decided to spend his last energy on improving people’s life.
So much support
Frederik and his friends tried to crowdfund the budget to develop the app, but they had little time left and were still tens of thousands of Euros short. When I first heard of this, I wanted to help. In my mind it was unacceptable that someone who was dying and chose to do such a selfless act – leaving a legacy that helps future patients – would not be able to realise his fantastic dream.
By coincidence, the next day after I had learned about Frederik’s initiative I had a meeting with Microsoft Nederland. I told them about the MindApp initiative and – amazingly – my warm hearted friends at Microsoft said they wanted to help pro bono with the realisation of the MindApp. Another important partner is the VUmc Brain Tumor Centre Amsterdam who help by providing their expertise.
The Into the Clear foundation, VUmc and Microsoft are working hard on the first test release of the app with a closed user group.
Not in vain
Within a few weeks time Frederik was shown the concept designs, only a couple of days before he passed away. I’m very happy that we were able to bring all parties together. Frederik passed away with the confidence that all his efforts until his very last breath, have not been in vain. He has laid the foundation from which other patients like Frederik will benefit from in the near future.
But besides leaving a legacy for other patients, Frederik also has an extremely important message which we can all benefit from. Frederik told us that working on the MindApp has been the highlight of his life. The key message I derive from this, is that;
We should not wait with doing what really matters to us. We should do it NOW.
Most of know this, but it is easier said than done. Let Frederik’s story be an inspiration to us all to figure what matters most to us, and then GO FOR IT.