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Augustus 2021,

Dear family, friends, and acquaintances!

Yes, we are already in July and I still have to start writing my letter, which I am not used to doing so late. There must be a reason for it then, and there is: I had a while where my stomach really bothered me – I will not go into detail – but that brings me to my first point of this letter: my health. Every time I am in contact with someone or someone contacts me they will ask “how is your health?”… I am, of course, grateful for all the concern, but I am not always thrilled to reiterate the entire story each time. I have been in the Netherlands for so long now and you wouldn’t do that if you are truly healthy!! At least, that was never the intention in any case. I returned here because my sister Henriëtte was on her deathbed and I thought that I could also quickly have my back examined at the time, because I had been feeling heavy pains for several months. But “quickly” became rather quite long.

I will spare you the entire story, except for the most important things which I will mention: they started with my spine and noticed promptly that it was in a bad state; many vertebrae were heavily damaged, broken, collapsed, etc. They tried corsets without much success. I went to the anesthesiologist who gave me a lot pain relief medication, quite heavy as well. There were also a couple of blocked nerves. I got a special treatment for it but that did not alleviate the situation much. At this point in time, even more vertebrae are either damaged or broken. I ended up at the pulmonologist and that was also not that positive of a story, dus for that I took the necessary medicine as well. Last year I had been treated for the prostate (radiotherapy) and beyond that I saw the endocrinologist, an ENT specialist, uralogists, dermatologists, orthopedists, etcetera, etcetera!! Taken all together, I can certainly say that my health is not in a tremendously good state. I have a mountain of medicine and I cannot do all that much when it comes to walking and such. And because of all of that, I am still in the Netherlands……

So, do I want to go or stay here? Well, for the last one, no, that would not actually be my intention. I think I said something in my last letter or for an article in the newspaper about needing a “small miracle”. I do not know if “small” is the right word, maybe just a miracle – concerning my health or lack thereof. I could write a whole book about it, but nobody wants that.

So, what to do now? Well, yes, I am hoping for a miracle. I would very much, just once, be it for a short or longer while, return to Bolivia, because that is my home. And I did not leave with a proper farewell, because none of this was my intention. In all of this time, we continued with supporting the project(s) in Cochabamba, also financially. And, from the first day until now, I have had contact with people there almost every day. There area a couple of people there who I can count on and who I can rely on and I have, with the help of my family, continuously tried to give them our support. I do not see why I should stop that. I would love to continue to support the projects there as much as possible, because I know that the people who are there can take on the challenges and because I know they are dependable. But some things might slim a little bit. That all depends on you and the people who are working there. From you, of course, because I lean on your generosity to help these people, maybe more now than before!! And I trust the people who are taking on the work there. And, as I mentioned, I still hold out hope that I can go back again, for a little or longer while. That is why we do not want to disband the Foundation. The options might slim a little, but I hope and pray that it can continue and that we can continue to do as much as we can to help the children and adolescents there. They deserve it; they really need it, they deserve to be given a chance. If I did not do that, I would feel that I had abandoned them and that I certainly do not want at all. So, yes, our options might slim a bit, also due to the decreasing earnings, but I still hope that we, through the Foundation, can help the people there, for them and with them. And, if it would be possible for a while, if that wonder arrives, that I can be there in person, be it for a shorter a longer while.

I do not want to abandon them and I ask you again for you support and generosity which is needed to help the children and adolescents in our care. Everything we have accomplished in all those years, that is what we did together, not alone, but us together. And without your support, the Foundation would not be able to do anything. That is why I want thank you for all of your help once more and quite heartily so for all your support; especially for the MOV-group, all the volunteers, my family and friends who have done so much and do so still, and all of you who have financially supported our cause all these years!! Without you, nothing would have been possible and nothing would be possible either!! That is why I want to call on you to please keep supporting us now and, if I can be cheeky about it, to also be generous and to do something for all those children and adolescents who benefit from our work!! My sincere thanks for all you have done and what you do, and, I hope, for what you will do in the future to help!!

And if you want to do something for my health, then lighting a candle and payers are always appreciated!!

With all of my heart, thank you so much to all of you, I wish you all the best and send you my greetings!!

Theo Raaijmakers
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