Peace Lutheran to host sale benefiting 1-year-old’s tumor battle

Meet 1-year-old Maarten, a little guy who’s caught up in a big fight. Right now Maarten and his family are on the other side of the country, where he’s getting help for a brain tumor that he’s been fighting almost his entire life. But in two weeks, right here in West Seattle, hundreds of people will come together for a huge sale to help raise money for him to get better – and they’re hoping you will join them.

It’ll be at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood (39th/Thistle), 9 am-6 pm Friday, September 18, and 8 am-5 pm Saturday, September 19th.

We got first word of this from Claudia Ludwig, a West Seattleite who knows the family and is organizing the big yard/bake sale. She says Maarten was diagnosed with the tumor when he was just 3 months old, in October of last year, and has gone through many treatments since then; right now he’s getting radiation again, in Boston. Claudia says his prognosis is good, but it’s just too risky for doctors to do more surgery right now, so radiation is what they’re using. Maarten’s family is publishing updates at Claudia says that for the sale in two weeks, more than 200 families are already donating items and baked goods, including members of the Peace Lutheran congregation, but they could use more. She explains some of the backstory:

Maarten’s parents are scientists who have devoted their lives to bettering ours. However, by working in academia, their salary is very low. Francois works at the UW and Sacha has left her job at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) to care for her son. At this point in their cancer treatment, only the basics are covered by their insurance. Everything that is only “recommended” (the physical therapy, hearing tests, occupational therapy) is not covered. And of course this does not include the flights to Boston and the time away from work. Also, all of their family live in France and the Netherlands, so they are really on their own. All of this began only 8 months after they moved to Seattle, so their support network was small.

So when we realized we must do something to help with this increasingly difficult time, we decided on a yard sale where ALL proceeds go to Maarten and his parents to help finance the needed tests, therapies, and the many bills that are stacking up. We originally decided to gather items at our work places, and then bring them to my house to sell. Then the pile of items got bigger, so we decided to spread things to my neighbors’ yards, but even that didn’t seem like enough space. That’s when Peace Lutheran Church graciously joined us and agreed to host and lend a hand. Together we will really make a difference for this family.

Claudia says the most important way to help will be to come to the sale September 18-19 – but they still could use donations as well; there’s info on the right sidebar of the Help Maarten site regarding how to reach her, as well as how to donate money via PayPal and/or check.

7 Replies to "Peace Lutheran to host sale benefiting 1-year-old's tumor battle"

  • for Maarten September 4, 2009 (7:46 pm)

    I live right near this church and have some great items to donate that are perfect for this sale. They are high quality and will help bring in money. Can we donate items too?

  • Heinz57Mom September 4, 2009 (7:51 pm)

    Where can we take items to donate?

  • WSB September 4, 2009 (7:54 pm)

    Please drop Claudia a line to ask – her e-mail address is in the right rail of the Help Maarten site – thanks!!!!

  • Grazer September 5, 2009 (10:37 am)

    This is why we need a public option. The last thing this family needs is to worried about medical fees. Does this family have a pay-pal account where people can just donate $$? Brain cancer is hereditary in my husband’s family. We want to help this little guy.

  • Claudia September 5, 2009 (7:32 pm)

    Thanks for everyone’s great comments and willingness to help! In regards to Grazer’s post, if you go to there is a place to donate via pay pal or Bank of America. Maarten’s Mom just got word that the supplemental therapies may be covered in Boston, so fingers crossed they’ll be getting a bit more help through insurance. Thanks everyone!

  • more on this September 7, 2009 (8:59 pm)

    I have items to donate so I just emailed Claudia and she asked if you have items to please email her and let her know what items you have etc. She just wants to keep track so she knows how many people to have on hand at the sale. Just and fyi – her email is:

  • Wilbert September 12, 2009 (11:23 pm)

    We have met Maarten and his famaily in Boston, where our own 1 year olf son was being treated for brain cancer as well. He is an adorable boy who, under severe circumstances. His treatments are serious and Maarten has not been able to eat using his mouth ever since his first brain surgery at only 3 months of age.

    I remember myself feeling very humble everythime I saw him smile immediately after his parents had to clean him up after he had to throw up and adjust the tube that feeds him.

    Knowing what the costs are, I hope this fundraiser will help them to have to worry less about the finances. And for them to see others caring about Maarten is important emotional support.

    Looking forward to see them and many others at the fund raiser next week. I’ll be bringing home baked Dutch Apple Pies for the sale. (The recipe was just approved by some deadly honest friends this weekend.)

    Cheers, Wilbert

Sorry, comment time is over.