“We are all somebody, everybody is somebody and we can all make a difference” – Ginger De Weert 23:13
In the Netherlands, the sport of softball is not that popular nor is it something athletes can pursue in school. That challenge of balancing everything while trying to pursue her dream as a softball player did not stop Ginger De Weert. Softball was her escape, an escape she would turn to when her dad was first diagnosed with cancer when she was 13 and a later again when his cancer came back nine years later, ultimately leading to his kidney failure.
Knowing her dream of continuing playing softball professionally, neither Ginger’s dad or the hospital would let her be the kidney donor. Taking matters into her own hands, Ginger crafted a Facebook post sharing her story since not many knew how sick her dad was. The Facebook post went viral.
It was crazy. I reached like 22,000 people in one day, and that’s a lot of the Netherlands. We got some people that emailed me for TVs shows, paperwork, and everything.
That one Facebook post late July just being authentic about what they were going through led to a perfect donor before Christmas. The impact of using her platform caused four others in similar situations to reach for Ginger’s help. With the help of Ginger, they too were able to find matching donors from one Facebook post. The power of social media.
From there Ginger De Weert started Softball Against Cancer an initiative inspired by Baseball Against Cancer launched by former professional baseball player Swen Huijer to raise as much money as possible for the Dutch Cancer Fund (KWF). This May, Ginger with the other athletes and volunteers have big plans to make a difference this May.
Even in the midst of everything she has going on Ginger is still focus on the softball season ahead and the big dream of competing and winning a medal on the Olympic team.
I think dreams can be as big as you are willing to think about them and see boundaries. I think there are no boundaries once you believe in yourself.
Ginger’s De Weert’s journey is just getting started with so much that she is striving to achieve. You can follow more of her athletic journey on Instagram @gingerdeweert
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