Altruism, selflessness, kind gestures and acts of kindness so grandiose that you may have a hard time believing what is in front of you. This is what is at hand with Texas restaurant owner, Michael De Beyer.
According to KHOU.com, De Beyer has decided to forego the bystander effect of witnessing one of his employees go without proper and adequate health coverage while he continues to make a profit. “I’m not able to just sit by and let it happen,” said De Beyer. “I couldn’t live with myself; I would never be happy just earning money from my restaurant knowing that she needs help.”
De Beyer, owner of Kaiserhof Restaurant in Montgomery, Texas, is selling his business of 17 years to help save the life of a young employee with a brain tumor.
KHOU reports, “Nineteen-year-old Brittany Mathis, a waitress at the German restaurant and bar, learned of the tumor in December after visiting the hospital due to a rash on her leg. Doctors performed MRIs and CAT scans to investigate why her blood was clotting and found a ping pong ball-sized mass in her brain.”
Without healthcare, Mathis struggled to afford her medical costs, CBS reports, and her treatments have since been put on hold.
“It’s not right,” De Beyer told KHOU. "Here’s a family, they really work hard; they have a lot of stuff against them in the past," he said, referring to Mathis' father, who passed away from an undetected brain tumor in 2000. “They didn’t even ask anybody for help.”
That's why, this time around, De Beyer is selling his restaurant, which is located in a 6,000 square-foot building, and is planning to donate the resulting sum to Mathis.
“I have listed my restaurant for several years and recently turned down an offer for $1.3 million,” he told the Courier of Montgomery County. “But now I want to auction it off at a reserve price (or minimum bid -- 50 percent of the actual value) and anything above that will go to help Brittany.”
So often the question is asked, “What will it take for the people to rise up and take a stand?” As we continue to witness global, societal and moral inequities it can be overwhelming to determine a non-futile response; so we remain quiet. We remain inactive, assuming that someone else will do something. We hope that someone will have the courage to do what needs to be done.
Even if you disagree with De Beyer’s course of action, or think the selling of his business is futile and will not solve the larger problem of disregarding life below a certain economic level, he is doing something. He started right where he is and asked, “What can I do to be of service in this situation.”
This question has made all the difference.