About VERA WESENBEEK
My name is Vera, 56 years young, from Belgium but living in the region of Marbella, Spain. I was just 16 when I left school to go to work. My mom had cancer and somebody had to take care for her and my little sister. A few years later she died. I went to evening and day school to learn all kinds of things. I got my degree in haute couture, learned French, German, English, Italian and Russian but the last one I didn't finish. I got my diploma for Real Estate Agent in Belgium, where you have to go to school for 3 years and can't start before you worked at an agency for a year. My former husband had an insurance office and Real Estate fitted right in the same sector. Then I started as an independent. First I started a models office and I was the first in Europe who started with XXL Models. That was in 1989. This was spectacular because it didn't exist. After that I took a step further and organized events, especially around XXL sizes and music. All I did was a success, the only problem I have is that I always seem to trust the wrong people. I think everybody is good, but found out that this is just a dream. By choosing the wrong people I got a lot of misery and troubles in my businesses.
In 1999 I came to Spain till 2005, when my daughter got a severe car crash. I went back to Belgium with her, and started my event business again. And then the story begins.
In 2011 I got my first cancer. My business was running well, but due to the cancer I had to calm down and started working with a team. I gave my concept out of hands, to most stupid thing I could ever do. But my good believe in people, remember! Besides, I knew my team member a couple of years and we became friends, so what could be wrong to give them the project to work under my name?
In 2012 my husband and I started a very classy restaurant that we knew because we helped there during the summer months. I was the cook, my husband did the restaurant. We started with a lot of problems due to the former owner who replaced all good equipment by second hand stuff. But, soon, all went very well, the business was ok.
At the end of 2012, we were just working one year in the restaurant; I got my second cancer, breast cancer and a lot worse than the first time. I had to follow a heavy treatment, but still kept working in my kitchen. Every day from the clinic to the kitchen, it was very heavy, and in April 2013 my body gave up. I had to let go my personal event business and go to court to give my books. The court has declared me innocent, and all my books an figures where ok, I only had my failure due to my cancer. That is on paper!
We still kept the restaurant till the end of September 2013. My event company was also running, but by the time I got the breast cancer, my “team” took the chance to take it all in their own hands and put me out of my own concept. I stopped the restaurant, the event business, my concept, and came back to Spain. It was not worth my health.
After all, nobody can tell you how long you have to live, if the cancer comes back or not. Both my parents and a lot of my family died of cancer. So I wanted to go back to Spain where I was happy. We had some saving money, and I had an embargo on a property that I would sell. Once again I trusted the wrong person, a lawyer, who appeared to be a fraud. She’s in prison now and I don’t have my property anymore! I just picked her out on google, where she stood under lawyers in Altea! Who would think that a lawyer is a fraud???
My husband and I are from origin musicians. My husband is a professional piano player and singer, I’m a Jazz Singer. We performed a lot in Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, and Holland. So we thought we could work as musicians at the Costa del Sol. But the therapy for my cancer had touched my voice. I still can sing, but not that long anymore. And I get very tired of it.
In February 2015 I went to the doctor because I wasn’t feeling well. Stress I thought. The doctor sent me to the hospital in Belgium because that was going faster than in Spain, and there they found the 3th cancer, this time at the bile. So they took it out, and it all started again. I had to pay for everything, cancer patients are not allowed in private insurance companies! So all our money was gone, lost. We didn’t even had enough to live anymore. Needed to find another house, couldn’t buy food for us and my dogs no more. Luckily I have 2 friends who kept us alive then!
We started working in the Real Estate Business for some agencies. One was good but we didn’t earn enough to survive, all the others where frauds! Didn’t pay their bills, ripped the clients, sold them illegal properties, etc.
In 2015 I decided to start my cleaning service. And soon I had some clients, gave a good service and got more clients. Then in 2016 I started with Property Management and Holiday Rentals. For another agent. Same story, we still didn’t receive our money. We are not the only ones, and every time we ask for it, they start threatening us!
In October 2016 we decided that it was enough. We would start on our own. With the little money we had and some help from a good client, we opened our own Real Estate Agency in San Pedro de Alcantara, with specialty Property Management and Holiday Rentals. I made a project of it. I love to work on projects.
1* I wanted to do cleanings and Management, because I like to give service to people and like to clean. For me it’s a way to deal with my stress.
2* I love to work with my hands and I love to recycle, so I made all the office furniture from recycled things that I found at the garbage and everybody loves our special office. I drove around, looked at all the garbage places, found furniture that was old but still good, or wood, and I made our office! With a little cost, and special. Different then other agencies. The things that I find, I recycle into other nice decoration goods and put them at the properties that we rent out to make them more cozy. If somebody likes it and want to buy it, then the money goes to my dogs. I take in lost and abandoned dogs and try to give them a good live.
More and more property clients are coming in, and we started working with some well knowed Real Estate Agencies who give us their clients, we give them some commission. We are doing ok. Except on one thing. Money comes in to late and we can’t expand to the business we want to be. Due of shortness of money.
We still have to fight to pay our rent and survive. Because cleaning money are no big amounts and so are commissions, and it takes a while before people pay. So we need more clients, and more cash flow to keep on growing.
3* is the social aspect of my project. The one that concerns me the most.
After my cancers, I didn’t feel myself as a woman no more. They took my feminity, my body, my business, my life, my money. I became a nobody. When I looked for work , I had to tell them that I had cancer and I got refused, even when I could do the work well. I didn’t count anymore. It felt like, ok go and sit in a corner and stay there till you die!
BUT THAT IS NOT ME!!!! I’m a fighter!!!! A worker!!!
4* I learned to know a lot of people who had the same disease as I, and they felt just the same. We all have dreams. I have a dream! Some of us don’t get the chance to achieve their dreams, others don’t have the power to do it, but some of us can! I want to belong to the last ones
I want to build up a good business again, want to show that there is life after cancer, that you can come back, that you are somebody! I want to keep a dairy from day one now, till I reach my goal! Being the best and most professional Property Management at the Coast. Well, you’re never the best or biggest, but thinking that you can be that, makes your dream come a lot closer!
If I succeed, then I will write a book “ Live after cancer”. Where I can prove to other patients that you can come back if you have the drive, the will, and the power to work for it! And, not to forget, with the help of family, friends, people you don’t know, people who believe in you and will stand behind you. I’m lucky that I have such people!!!
My purpose of my business is 5 ways. I explained 4 already. I want to build up a very good business, for myself of course, but also for other patients. I want to recycle things that I place on my rental apartments, as decoration. If somebody wants to buy them, that money goes to my dogs – my hobby. I take in abandoned dogs and take care for them until they get adopted. But if I don’t earn enough money, I can’t take care for them and then I have to do them to a shelter where they are put in cages. Here they run free in the garden. I have 14 abandoned dogs now. And recycling is good for the environment.
But number 5 will be my biggest goal! If I can reach my purpose and get my project working, earn some money, then I want to invest it in small apartments that I renovate to nice and cozy places with an aura of silence. Cancer patients can rent these properties very cheap to come to rest. To take some time for themselves.
Or patients who are terminal and want a last Holiday together with their family.
If the book will be written (if I reach my goal) then the money goes to these apartments and the treatment here in Spain to help the patients that come to Spain to take some rest. That there is a nurse, a doctor and a hospital in the neighborhood in case of.
Besides this I’m a volunteer for the cancer federation in Malaga and help them with events to get money in for cancer patients who need it. Anyone can get cancer. Don’t ever think, it won’t happen to me!
THAT IS MY DREAM!
The only factor is money. I need more money to reach my goal. And I can’t get it anywhere. Not at the bank, not at a financial agency, not from an investor. I’ve asked, begged, taken every action I could take, but if you don’t have any assets, or just a starter, you can’t get no loans. Without the money that I need, I can’t reach my goal, because others will steal away my clients. And wait till all the clients pay on time, or that one big sale I can do, well I don’t have the time for that. It is now or never! Now I have the clients, now I have the other agencies working with me, now is the time to expand.
I drive a rental car what is a huge cost every month. Actually we need 2. One small VAN for me, for my cleaning service, and one for my husband to go to the clients, do meet and greets, or go with cleaning staff to other properties. I need products that I can buy in whole sale, not in the supermarket, I need good cleaning materials, I need materials to work on my recycling decoration, I need a working space, uniforms with logo’s for my staff (who is independent), need enough publicity to get people to know my business, go with the flow and advertise in the most important magazines, web portals, and so I can go on. I do all the laundry and ironing myself. Sometimes at night, because I want it done very decently. But I need materials for that. Towels, bed linen, bed covers, etc.
Flyers, letters, banners, everything what is visible for other people.
These are huge costs that I can’t pay at the moment. But I’m stressed and afraid that I will lose my clients because I can’t show them that I work with the best professional material. People have respect for what I do, but I found out that they look at these things. And besides that. I just need it. There is no time to lose.
So the cash flow is my biggest problem. Can anyone help me to make my dream come true?
We can do something in return.
My husband who works with me (yes I have a modern man who goes cleaning with me) has a special hobby and certainly a special gift. He makes digital art. Paintings, but digital. Sometimes abstract, but sometimes from people, on demand. From your kids, your parents, your pets, a place you like, etc.
For all the people that believe in my project, and give us a donation above 30€, he will make such a painting.
We ask you to send us a very good picture from that one, or thing that you want, and he will make it and send it to you by mail. You can print it out on paper, canvas, class, even on iron.