Status: 26/09/2023, 13:22 p.m.
By: Dieter Dorby
Once again to Italy, once again to the sea: Thanks to the Malteser Hilfsdienst, Martina Glanz (right) was able to experience her dream. The volunteer Karolin Wanzeck supported them on site. © Maltese
Going on holiday is a matter of course for many. But if you are seriously ill, need help and don't have the necessary money, you can't afford this luxury – no matter how great the longing is. That's why Malteser Hilfsdienst offers its heart's desire ambulance. With him, a woman from Miesbach experienced a long-awaited ride.
Miesbach – Once again to the sea. Experience Italy. Walking in the sand. Feel the waves on your legs. This wish has accompanied Martina Glanz for a long time. But she could not put it into practice. The reason for this is her illness. The 55-year-old from Miesbach suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS).
The disease came insidiously. Her motor skills became progressively worse a few years ago. Her professions as a sales consultant and professional make-up artist became increasingly difficult for her. It took about six years until multiple sclerosis was finally identified as the cause in 2016. A diagnosis that Glanz felt like a liberation: "I finally knew what was wrong with me." Still, it was a shock.
Because the trembling of the hands had been noticed in the profession. Some in the work environment already suspected alcohol – assumptions that burdened the freelancer. Not only the job, but also walking became increasingly difficult. Since then, the stability has been increasingly dwindling. Glanz uses Nordic walking poles to stabilize himself while walking.
As a result, it has not been possible for the Miesbach native to take a vacation for years. There is no one there to travel with her and – more importantly – help if the worst comes to the worst. Because driving away alone carries the risk that she will fall and seriously injure herself in the process. Her country of longing, Italy, for many only a stone's throw away, became unattainable for her.
She had spent a very nice time there when she was 22 or 23 years old. At that time she had been working in the hotel in Bibione. Since then, they have had "wonderful memories" of this region. The last time she was in Italy was 16 years ago.
By chance, she had now become aware of the action with the heart's desire ambulance of the Malteser Hilfsdienst. She applied and was lucky: she was allowed to go to Jesolo by ambulance for two days. The moment by the sea was unbelievable for Martina Glanz. "It was great," she says. "The air, the flair – I soaked it all in." And of course, the food in the Ristorante was not to be missed – the icing on the cake, so to speak.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
For Karolin Wanzeck, who accompanied Martina Glanz as a Malteser volunteer together with a colleague, it was nice to witness the joy of the MS patient. "It makes my heart beat faster," she says. Moving moments were usually part of such trips: people who want to say goodbye to friends and acquaintances. Or just want to visit a certain place.
Helping with donations
The Malteser Hilfsdienst is financed by donations and is aimed at people who cannot afford such a trip themselves physically and financially. A paramedic is also with you on the trip. For Martina Glanz, the heart's desire ambulance is a stroke of luck: "I wouldn't have been able to drive myself for several hours."
She is currently undergoing rehabilitation again. "You live in clinics," she says somewhat wistfully. "But you have to look ahead. You can't give up." All the more reason for her visit to the sea. "It was a great time."
Information about the campaign
The "Heart's Desire Ambulance" campaign of the Malteser Hilfsdienst can be found online at www.malteser.de/herzenswunsch.html with further information.