My beloved husband surprised me with the following lines and I came up with the idea, that my friends and family could write something about me. I was moved to tears, but please read for yourself.
Timo, Melli's husband:
"Every morning, when I have to go to work and to
leave Mel home alone, it nearly breaks my heart. As soon as the door is closed behind me, I have to take a deep breath. There is this wonderful woman, the greatest person I ever met in my whole
life, smiles at me while kissing me good bye and saying "Have a nice day!", and tells me, how much she loves me. But there is also the expression in Mel's eyes, this sadness, because she knows
exactly, that another lonely day at home starts right now. We really like our apartment, but even the most beautiful home turns into jail, if you have no or just very limited possibilities to
leave it self-determinedly. Mel's scope is limited to the immediate area around our apartment house or to the centre of Trier at most, if she dares to take the city bus. Apparently, in the social
welfare office's opinion, that is enough spontaneity for people with disabilities. It seems, that in the authorities opinion, it is not necessary, that Mel participates in everyday social life
outside of this small area self-determinedly, although important therapies, doctors, friends and family are not located in the city of Trier. I don't know, how many appointments we had to cancel
or how many appointments were not even made, just because I can't always be absent from work to drive Mel to the helpful therapies and doctors who are not located in Trier. Mel was always there
for everybody, was helpful to whoever needed help or an advice. If nowadays a friend or a member of the family is in need, Mel can not easily go and talk to this person or just hold the other's
hand for a while. One reason, why Mel started to study Psychology at the university of Trier was her empathetic character, her joy in dealing with other people, her natural ability to listen, to
understand and to give advice if needed. At the moment, this talent is unused and it is lost for the community, just because she cannot come to the people. That is, what makes me and especially
Mel very sad!
A vehicle adapted to Mel's needs, that enables her to leave the house and to participate in everyday social life, would bring back lots of quality of life to Mel and it would prevent her from becoming more and more lonely right in the middle of a big city. That is my biggest dream, which I am unfortunately not able to realize all alone.
Many thanks for your help!"
Sabine, Melli's mother - the best mum in the world:
"My little sweetheart, my wonderful daughter Melanie.
Even as a child friendly, caring and helpful to everyone.
She was not only my sunshine, but also the sunshine of the whole Sonnenkamp (the street, where we lived).
A little girl full of dreams, ambition and drive.
School, high school, one and a half years in America ... I've missed you so much.
Studies, job, start a family. One husband, two children and a dog, that was the plan.
A dream that was destroyed by a malignant disease.
She found the man of her life. A really good-hearted man who cares for her with infinite love. I thank God for knowing that he is by her side. In his spare time, he is there for Melli all around the clock. But as the only earner of the family, he has got to be away from home nearly 12 hours on every working day. So every way, that Melli has to go alone, going to the doctors, running errands or whatever, becomes a hassle.
As her mother I would love to stand at her side and to help her more. But that's impossible, since I live and work in Bremen, which is more than 500 kilometers away from Trier. How nice would it be, if we could see each other more often. A train ride to Bremen is an insurmountable obstacle for Melli. A car adapted to her personal needs would be such a great relief for her. Unfortunately, this is an unaffordable dream for my daughter and her husband.
Please make a donation for my lovely daughter Melanie, so she can get back a small piece of quality of life.
I love and miss you so much, my little sweetheart, and if it were possible, I would take your terrible disease on me.
I am so proud of you! Your mum!"
Kiki, Melli's best friend:
"Melanie and I went to high school together. We really got to know each other when we went out to buy a birthday present for a mutual friend. This planned ` short-meeting´ extended to several hours walking along the pedestrian area of Bremen-Vegesack. We got along so well and talked about everything, our concerns and what we were going through.
This turned into a lifelong friendship which I'm very thankful of.
Melanie is a wonderful person whom I would never want to lose in my life. She is unbelievably positive and always ready for action. I think it's great that she has the courage to fulfill her dream: To go back to university and study psychology in order to help people who are in desperate need. Her health problem did not affect her zest for action and her optimism. I admire how she masters her daily life and always fights hard to reach her goals. Unfortunately, it's not easy to live in this society when you have to rely on the help of the government, the health insurance system, or others!
Most of all I appreciate Melanie's lovable, empathic, and heartwarming nature. She is a wonderful person you will be fond of. I hope with all my heart that her dream of owning a car comes true.
Of course, such a car is expensive. But if the costs are shared by many, it can be realized and I'm convinced that this investment is worth every cent. It would give Melanie back a big piece of self-determination, as well as help her get to important doctor's appointments outside of Trier. It will also enable her to foster friendships, social contacts, and simply be independent. Independence and freedom, that's what everybody desires...."
Peter, a close friend:
"Melli and I have a somewhat special connection. If it weren´t for her exceptional optimism and her positive approach in dealing with people and with problems, we probably wouldn't have become friends.
Although she was hit very hard by fate, this did not affect her friendly nature - I feel her warmth whenever she is around.
I live a three hour's drive away and visit her every 6-8 weeks. With a suitable car she could also visit me as well as others and share her positive attitude with the world. That is my wish for us all!"
Theresia, Melli's soul mate:
„I have known Melanie for almost two years. I appreciate her a lot. Life brought us together. We shared a room for four weeks. The mountains of the black forest were watched over us. When I arrived, Melanie has already moved in but she was not in the room at that time. I sat on my bed and saw a walking frame, heavily lined house slippers, a thick blanket (in June) and thought to myself: "Dear God, please don't let it be an old woman I have to spend all this time with."
And then she came, or better said, she came on her wheel chair into the room. She was beautiful, with long blonde hair, bright, very attentive sparkling eyes, strong upper arms, and a light tender smile on her lips. I immediately felt that everything will be good. And so it happened. We laughed a lot, spoke about our lives, about people we have met, and our insights. We treated each other with care and by that learned a lot from each other. This understanding remains until today. We are connected to each other by telephone. And, it was a quotation from her Whats-App page that touched me a lot:
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” (Joseph Campbell)
To dream, to desire, to risk, to experiment. Who has not experienced this in life? That things turn out differently from what we imagined. The emotions, brought about by dreams, wishes, risks and experiments drive us onwards and also make it possible for us to think things over and to reorganize. This is the reason why Melanie really needs a car that would fit her needs. I find it so important for her to have the possibility to move from one place to another just like everyone else, to be independent, to be free and to actually feel this freedom. Other people should also get to know Melanie to see that life continues no matter if one stands or sits, walks or cycles… much more is not necessary: courage, strength, and the resolve to take risks. I have no doubt that Melanie will soon accomplish her goal to sit in her own car and drive on, because she is courageous, strong, and determined to seek what is in store for her."
Bernd, Melli's telephone companion:
"I met Melanie in the summer of 2000 during our studies in Wilhelmshaven. Since then, this young woman could already infect you with her zest for life and her energy. She faced each day with such delight and pure joy. Her presence was very welcome in classes and at student meetings. A mutual friend also said back then: A party without Mel is like summer without sun - both are bearable - but something is missing!
Because of our different job situations, we only partly managed to stay in touch. But we never lost sight of each other.
I heard of her illness on my 30th birthday. She came as a surprise guest, along with her boyfriend, now her husband. The news came as a big shock, even though I only had very basic knowledge about this illness back then. In the following months we telephoned often. I gave her my full support as we discussed her possibilities of heading towards a new direction professionally. She wanted to study psychology and quit her stressful business job. It brought in money, but it made her unhappy and additionally, was bad for her health. Unfortunately, a number of years have passed since our last meeting – in the fall of 2011 we met in Bremen and she was like always: relaxed, happy, and in a good mood. Her illness was already in an advanced stage but she managed in a way that it was not immediately noticeable. After that her health deteriorated very fast.
It is quite difficult for me to imagine what obstacles everyday life offers if things don't function like the daily "standard". It starts with one´s apartment that has to be wheel chair accessible. Start to imagine the cobblestones in an old city – quite nice to look at for the able bodied, but for Mel, a huge feat as the uneven surface leads to strong back pain. Are there ground level toilets in restaurants or not? The world or the architects don't think the same way as a person dependent on a wheelchair to get around. As a frequent bus or train passenger I often see what problems arise if public means of transportation are not handicap accessible. It starts with the place reserved for the handicapped, and the non-handicapped who ignorantly occupy this place.
Therefore, I can understand your wish to have a motor vehicle that eliminates those problems. A means of transport that will give you the flexibility and take you safely from A to B! My wish for you, after all the struggle with your health, the insurance system, doctors and therapists, is to have a satisfactory option of flexible locomotion, more normalcy in your everyday life, self-sufficiency, and happiness.
We still talk regularly on the phone and I wish you, dear Mel, all the best, much success for this excellent project and I will keep my fingers crossed that you continue to have the strength to smile and to find pleasure in your daily life. Of course I also wish that your husband continues to support you as he has always done. Lots of love, I think of you very often! Also, if I sometimes don't get in touch for a while you are still a part of my past, my present, and hopefully for many decades, a part of my future!"
Sandra, a dear friend:
"My name is Sandra and I found out two years ago that I have Multiple Sclerosis. After a series of health problems such as bowel disturbance, paresthesia and dizziness, I received my diagnosis and am now under medical treatment! In the following months, and although it was not visually apparent, I was unable to work as I felt very bad physically and psychologically! The first year after my diagnosis, everything revolved around MS but I still tried to live as normally as possible. I changed my job and several things in my life! My everyday life changed on a personal as well as on a professional level ever since. My family and friends stand by me and my new job and the security to live my life independently once again gave me the power to live my life without thinking about MS all the time. Today, I am doing well healthwise and I'm very thankful for that. Unfortunately that is not the case for all suffering from MS. I met Melanie in a rehabilitation clinic and treasure her very much as a friend and as a person! I really hope that she gets the chance to live her life as normally and as independently as possible. She is therefore in need of a handicap-friendly car! There is no single solution for the daily fight against MS as the characteristics vary for everyone. Each affected person has to find his personal approach to deal with this disease. But the possibility, to shape one´s own life, to be able to decide how and when one wants to go shopping, to go to the doctor, or to drive to university or workplace is especially important for a person with limited mobility. A chance to get back a big piece of happiness and quality of life!
I wish all the best for Melanie and ask you to help with your funding to finance a handicap-friendly car. This will bring her back a big piece of independence as this is very important for every human being!"