Imagine having cancer. Imagine losing your home. Now imagine it happening in
the middle of the pandemic.
Mandy and Philip Verbrugge are the most generous, loving and kind couple I have been blessed to know. They’re dear friends. Every member of our fundraising team agrees. We love them dearly.
For over half her lifetime, Mandy has battled cancer. Last month, she underwent a double mastectomy, from which she is struggling to recover, and her battle with cancer continues. She’s exhausted right now.
Together over ten years, and married in 2017, Mandy and Philip waited two years to go on honeymoon, due to cancer. They finally made it this February. On their return, it was only a matter of days before Portugal entered lockdown, and only a few weeks more before another bombshell was dropped on them. A lawyer’s letter, an eviction notice from their home of over ten years, without reason. In the midst of Mandy’s biggest cancer battle yet. Since then, they’ve been doing all they can to resolve their housing crisis in the midst of the pandemic, without success. Until they finally found a house they could afford to buy, having found nothing they could rent.
On Thursday, 1 October, Mandy messaged me, saying their impending home purchase would fall through, due to the bank reducing their mortgage offer by 10 percent at the eleventh hour. €10,000 short on their deposit as a result of the revised mortgage offer, they were asking their closest friends for advice. We all advised a GoFundMe fundraiser, and I offered to build it.
On the afternoon of Sunday, 4 October, they gave the go ahead. I built the fundraising campaign that same afternoon, with the help of two of Mandy’s closest friends, Lucy Pepper and Lindsay Porrott.
We launched the campaign that evening. Since then, we’ve worked day and night to raise the much needed funds.
It’s been a week of hard work, of tears, of laughter, of amazement and joy. Often all within the same day. It’s been intense, and such a lesson to us all in the power of faith that life can take care of us when needed, and in the benefits of daring to ask for help when needed. If Mandy hadn’t reached out for our help, they wouldn’t have been about to sign the contract on their first owned home together. Their “forever home” as we all call it.
By Tuesday morning, we had €800, and were feeling a little anxious, as our goal is to raise €12,900 by the close of day on Sunday, 11 October. Then a miracle happened. Lucy tweeted the campaign, and along with some other big name tweeters, journalist Caitlin Moran donated and retweeted it to her 800k+ followers. We ended the day on over €8,000!
On Wednesday morning, I shared the news of our latest figures with Mandy, and she said “it’s really going to happen.” Bless her. I assured her it was already happening, and that Philip needed to get on with the packing, as their forever home is on it’s way to them now.
Since then, the campaign has gone from strength to strength, although it’s beginning to slow down a bit now, and we’re looking for support to take it to the finish line by Sunday evening.
We’re not resting until it’s done. We want to raise a total of €12,900 by Sunday evening, and we’re currently at €11,614, only needing €1,286 to reach our goal.
This has been the most unforgettable week. We still need support to reach our final goal, so thank you so much for sharing our story.
For the full story, and in Mandy and Philip’s own words, visit our fundraiser at . Mandy Verbrugge