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Orange Ribbon International   

The Symbol

Orange Ribbon is the international symbol for child cancer. It stands for child cancer awareness, and advocates funding for research and communication programs.

The History

On 28 October 2004, the day he turned 40, Walter Scheffrahn registered a Benelux trademark that was to become known all over the world. His objective, as an international brands and media entrepreneur, was to create an international charity symbol for children's relief. The color orange, of the Orange Ribbon, was chosen as a tribute to the symbol's Dutch roots, but also because it reflects warmth, energy, change, and health. Due to the fact that he needed to focus on another charity initiative already up and running, Walter decided to postpone his activities for Orange Ribbon.

Over 2004 Walter initiated and set up Pink Ribbon International as a token of support for his sister Desiree Scheffrahn, who had suffered from breast cancer. With the website providing information on breast cancer issues since 1997.

In 2005 he discussed the ideas he had for Pink Ribbon International with his good friend and author Sophie van der Stap, a cancer survivor herself, and it was not long after this that Sophie joined Pink Ribbon International. Later, international model Amanda Witteman was invited to become the "face" of Pink Ribbon International.

At the end of the 2006 Walter started to share his ideas about Orange Ribbon with Sophie. Through their experience with Pink Ribbon they knew it would be a challenge to set up a global platform for Child Cancer Awareness and Funding. They were joined a few months later by Jurriaan van Dam. Jurriaan , a close friend of Sophie and Walter, was a clinical researcher at the oncology department of the University of Leiden. Jurriaan initiated the idea of a game for sick children. The game would help children prepare for the clinical processes they were about to undergo, while at the same time strengthening them for a swift recovery. He also strived to integrate eastern healing principles in Western conventional medicine. Together, Sophie, Jurriaan and Walter started to set up Orange Ribbon International.

Over the course of 2007 the idea of Orange Ribbon was elaborated and further structured. The organizational structure was set up and the market approach defined. Orange Ribbon International was to become an international platform, a one-stop shop, for all accredited Child Cancer foundations worldwide. May, the month of young life, would become Child Cancer Awareness Month. The idea of spotlighting prominent buildings in major cities across the world during this month (Orange Illumination) was investigated. The organization would have worldwide ambassadors, a professional magazine and a yearly Orange Ribbon Award gala.

On the 4th of January, 2008, Jurriaan van Dam died of cancer at the age of 29. At his funeral in Amsterdam, his family and hundreds of friends wore the Orange Ribbon in support of the ideas that Jurriaan stood for. As of that moment Orange Ribbon was dedicated to Jurriaan van Dam, being one of the three initiators of Orange Ribbon International. Jurriaan's girlfriend Marleen Visser started preparing the first issue of Orange Ribbon Magazine that same year, and Sophie became the international ambassador and spokesperson for Orange Ribbon International.

Orange Ribbon International
Stichting Orange Ribbon
Herengracht 23
1015 BA, Amsterdam
The Netherlands

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