A request from a terminally ill boy has swept the Netherlands.
Armin van Buuren doesn't normally wear nail polish. So it may have come as a shock to the Dutch DJ's 1.4 million followers when he tweeted a video of the new shades—sky blue and hot pink—as they were being applied in a studio yesterday morning.
van Buuren was the latest celebrity in the Netherlands to respond to a challenge issued last month from a six-year-old boy named Tijn, who is terminally ill with brain cancer. Doctors have recently given him less than a year to live.
Tijn's wish, according to his fundraising website, was to find some way to help other sick kids. (Ahem, someone must be chopping onions in here.) His idea: Donate a Euro, paint your nails, and tag three other friends, Ice Bucket challenge-style, to follow suit. All funds raised will go toward helping kids with pneumonia, an illness that kills more than 2 million children every year, according to the World Health Organization. "Most of the poor kids infected with pneumonia do not even live to be five years old," Tijn's father wrote.
Tijn's family issued the challenge as part of "Serious Request," an annual fundraiser featuring DJs and celebrities that is hosted by 3FM—approximately the Dutch equivalent of the BBC's Radio One—in partnership with the Red Cross to benefit causes that don't typically attract a significant amount of funding. (In 2015, Serious Request raised almost $9 million to help children in conflict areas like Syria and Sudan.)
When he issued the challenge, the six-year-old set a modest goal of about $100. Since going viral in the Netherlands and on sites like Reddit, his fundraiser is now closing in on $1 million. The family is asking people to share photos of painted nails with the hashtag #lakaan—which, according to 3FM, translates to "painted on" in Dutch.
You can donate here. (We recommend using PayPal to make the process go smoothly.)