When Andreas was told that his 3-year son Julius had leukemia, the 36-year-old single dad’s whole world came crashing down.
Tragically, it wasn’t the first sickness to hit Andreas Graf and his family. The 36-year-old’s wife also had debilitating heart disease.
So when 3-year-old Julius was diagnosed with with leukemia, Andreas was in a bind. His heart’s desire was to be by his son’s side every step of the way while he battled cancer. The only problem? Andreas had run out of personal leave.
Andreas was in an incredibly difficult position. And then his coworkers stepped in and did something incredible.
At the end of January 2017, Andreas Graf from Fronhausen, Germany found out that his 3-year-old Julius had leukemia. After a long hospital stay and several treatments, the little boy was finally released from the hospital. But Andreas was soon hit with even more devastating news.
Another tragedy strikes
Andreas’s wife passed away. Even though she had had been ill with heart disease for a long time, she wasn’t expected to pass away so soon. Andreas was in an indescribably difficult position — his wife had just died and his little boy had leukemia. And to top it off, Andreas had a demanding job that takes up most of his time.
The incredible gesture by his coworkers moved Andreas to tears
Fortunately, Andreas has a lot of good-hearted coworkers at Seidel, the company where he works. They knew how tough Andreas had it — and they also knew that he didn’t have much time to spend with his son. So all 700 employees made a decision together: they would work overtime so Andreas could stay home with his son.
In total, they worked 3,300 hours of overtime, which meant that Andreas didn’t need to work for more than a year. The company’s CEO, Andreas Ritzenhoff, is extremely proud of his employees’ great commitment.
“It’s great to see how the employees come together when things are hard. Some of Andreas’ coworkers have donated up to 30 hours,” the Seidel CEO told German newspaper Oberhessische Zeitung.
Each year, more than 170,000 people in the United States diagnosed with leukemia. It is the most common cancer in children and teens. There are two types of leukemia: acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Thankfully, the mortality rate for the disease has fallen in recent years. Survival for both forms of cancer among children is approximately 90 and 70 percent, according to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Andreas couldn’t hold back the tears when he found out what his coworkers had done. Even though Julius isn’t yet cancer free, now his father can afford to fight beside him. Please share this touching story with your friends and send your thoughts and prayers to Julius!