A standout action during sc Heerenveen's Eredivisie football match against FC Emmen. No supporters because of the tightened corona measures, but 15 thousand cuddly bears with a football shirt in the stands of the Abe Lenstra stadium. With this symbolic action, the Children's Cancer Free Foundation (KiKa), the football club and pharmaceutical company MSD are calling attention to children in the Netherlands who have cancer.
After many weeks of lockdown in the Netherlands, the football competition started again on September 12 with some of the supporters in the stands. But due to the current corona measures, it is unfortunately not allowed to host people in the stadiums. And that's what the three organizations quickly responded to.
Traditional sporting events for charity cannot take place, also for KiKa. As a result, the foundation lacks much of the revenue needed to fund cancer research. Pharmaceutical company MSD is at the forefront of the fight against cancer and has been a partner of KiKa for 15 years. And KiKa in turn is in the heart of sc Heerenveen. Together, the football club, the foundation and the pharmaceutical company looked for an alternative way in which they – and the whole of the Netherlands – can support KiKa during 'corona'. Together they came up with the idea to give the KiKa bear a leading role. After all, the little bear is the symbol of support and love for children in difficult times.
Thousands of KiKa bears
Frits Hirschstein, founder and director of KiKa: "During the first months of COVID-19, many children with cancer have been invisible. Because care was delayed. Unfortunately, we are now back in that situation. At the same time, we were introduced to empty football stadiums. That's why we encourage the football players with thousands of KiKa bears in Heerenveen T-shirt. And we express our support for all children with cancer and let them know that we will not forget them."
MSD has funded the first 15,000 special bears to help KiKa on its way and create a special atmosphere in the stadium. The number of KiKa bears in the stadium is a symbol that expresses the approximately 15,000 children in the Netherlands with cancer or who have survived cancer.
For sale after the game
sc Heerenveen has also been a partner of KiKa for years now and calls on supporters to buy the unique KiKa bear after the game via the website www.kikaberenactie.nl. A collector's item that allows them to support children with cancer. And for the rest of the Netherlands: ofcourse the 'regular' cuddly bears are also still available. So: everyone can contribute to research into childhood cancer.