Ter­mi­nally ill Dutch boy’s nail var­nish chal­lenge rakes in mil­lions

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in The Hague

A ter­mi­nally ill six-year-old Dutch boy, who hoped to raise a few hun­dred eu­ros by dar­ing peo­ple to paint their nails has raised more than 2.5 mil­lion eu­ros.

Tijn Kol­steren, who was di­ag­nosed with brain can­cer in May, launched the ap­peal only three days ago, but it fired the imag­i­na­tion of the pub­lic. The char­ity drive raised more than $2.6 mil­lion.

“With his nail-paint­ing dare he wanted to help chil- dren suf­fer­ing from pneu­mo­nia,” the Dutch pub­lic news­caster NOS re­ported.

“It was an enor­mous suc­cess — from DJ Armin van Bu­uren to Prime Min­is­ter Mark Rutte and many other fa­mous celebri­ties had their nails painted,” it said.

“Paint your nails, make a do­na­tion and then chal­lenge three of your friends to do the same,” dared the do­na­tion page, which in­vited par­tic­i­pants to share their pic­tures on so­cial me­dia us­ing the hash­tag #lakaan (mean­ing “the pol­ish is on”).

The ap­peal is part of a tra­di­tional event in The Nether­lands where ra­dio DJs lock them­selves away for sev­eral days with­out food or drink to raise money. This year, pro­ceeds are go­ing to the Red Cross.

Rutte joined the DJs late on Fri­day and opted for a deep blue for his own nails.

Tijn’s fam­ily learned only last week that a course of chemo­ther­apy had failed to re­duce the size of his can­cer.

“De­spite this bad news, we wanted to do some­thing for chil­dren who won’t maybe even make it to 6,” his fa­ther Ger­rit told the NOS.

“We came up with the idea to­gether: Tijn had al­ready painted his nails with a friend and liked it. I wanted to do some­thing sim­i­lar to the Ice Bucket chal­lenge and men paint­ing their nails is a bit taboo,” he added, re­fer­ring to the in­ter­net craze that raised mil­lions.

The Dutch press hailed the boy as a hero, with the tabloid AD on Fri­day putting a pic­ture of him dressed as a su­per­hero un­der the head­line “Su­perTijn”.

SAN­DER KONING / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Dutch DJs Domien Ver­schu­uren and Frank van der Lende with 6-year-old Tijn Kol­steren at a char­ity event in Breda, the Nether­lands.

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