This enterprising boy found a creative way to raise funds for his intense medical treatment.
This is the touching story of little Daniel Neves, a 13-year-old boy from northeastern Brazil. He has recently begun to go viral on social networks thanks to his talent, devotion, and proactive enterprise as he waits for a kidney transplant.
At 8 months old, Daniel was diagnosed with polycystic kidneys, hepatic fibrosis, and spleen dysfunction. His conditions has worsened over time.
The boy lives in Salvador, but every 3 months he needs to travel with his mother, Cleide Neves, to São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, where he receives treatment. The government makes the round-trip tickets available, but the family needs to pay the costs of transportation between hospitals in the capital of São Paulo, as well as food during the stay in the city.
Due to the need to dedicate herself to Daniel’s care, Cleide cannot work. Mother and son live off government benefits granted to Daniel, and the small support paid by the boy’s father. But the government does not cover the costs of all of the many medicines and treatments Daniel needs.
Our Lady of the Kidneys
Instead of giving up hope, however, Daniel has risen to the challenge! At the age of 13, he’s painting mostly Catholic-themed artwork to help raise the funds he and his mother need.
The boy even created a new “title” for the Blessed Virgin: Our Lady of the Kidneys! He has faith that the Mother of God will protect him during his transplant procedure.
The sale of his paintings, however, does not generate enough income to cover all the treatment costs. That’s why Daniel’s family has also used a crowdfunding platform called VOAA to raise funds. In his presentation, the brave young warrior says,
Hi, I’m Daniel. I’m 13 years old and I have a very serious illness. I learned to paint during my time in the hospital, but the earnings I get by selling my canvases is not enough for my treatment. I really need help.
Faith, work and generosity
The campaign describes Daniel’s situation in these words:
Because he suffers from serious health problems, little Daniel Neves, age 13, lives practically inside a hospital. In order to make his time in hospital go by more quickly, he began to paint beautiful canvases that today are sold for a symbolic price to pay for his treatment. Many of the paintings he paints are images of Catholic saints. Daniel even created the image for a new title of Mary: Our Lady of the Kidneys. He believes that she will protect him in kidney transplant.
The collection goal on the platform was 50,000 reais (approximately $9,360 USD). But thanks to God and to the generosity of many people, the donations far surpassed the goal. Daniel received more than 216,000 reais (more than $40,000 USD) in donations before the campaign was closed.
Daniel’s First Communion
The child had shown his faith and love for God before. In September 2019, for example, Daniel shared some photos of his First Communion, expressing how happy he was on that unique occasion in the life of every Catholic.