Last year the love of my life, my wife Tove Gillbring, was diagnosed with a cancer spread beyond what doctors are able to cure (at least yet). She could have made the diagnosis her cue to give up and prepare to go silently into the night, but she wanted another path. She has a capacity to treasure the good things in life, even during horrible circumstances. She wants to make the best of the time she has left and focus on the things to bring her and others joy.
I want to help her as much as I can, and stand by her side in thick and thin. Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign last year, kind souls all over the world helped us make 2018 a year filled with love and Creative Fireworks (her name for the projects she is working on). Thanks to the support we received I was able to take time off work to help Tove, and we were able to handle a lot of the challenges we faced. We are fortunate enough to still have Tove among us, a year later. Will you help me make 2019 a good year for Tove? Will you help me show her how much we all care about her?
Tove has been a champion for Swedish roleplaying games during the three last decades. Together we have published and developed games, gaming magazines and hosted gaming events at gaming conventions all over Sweden. Tove has always encouraged and supported other gamers and game creators. In our view, the entire gaming hobby benefits when a game is successful. Even last year, Tove was able to carry on her work as editor in chief for the Swedish gaming magazine Fenix, publishing six new brand new issues. Tove is proud to let new faces and talents reach gamers interested in good gaming material, and 2018 was no exception to this rule.
Tove decided right off the bat when she got sick that she wanted to focus on the good things in life. Spending time with loved ones, and doing things she loved. That includes seeing a lot of the creative gaming projects she started through, going for a Creative Fireworks to push to get them all released. Thanks to your help, the Creative Fireworks got started. We managed to publish several new titles, in the midst of the most chaotic year of our lives. Apart from them, even more are within spitting distance of being launched, lacking details but getting closer to print and publishing every day. This is what Tove wants to do, where her heart and mind goes. Still, she needs your help – and mine – to make it happen. The Creative Fireworks have only just begun!
The year that passed was both easier and harder than we ever anticipated. On one hand, the treatments have occasionally been hard and taxing, draining a lot of energy and some annoying side effects have had to be endured. On the other hand, Tove has been able to withstand it all. She is still at a point where her life expectancy pretty much is related to just that. Her ability to handle the side effects of the medication and treatments she are given. Even though she has not been able to get rid of any of the existing cancer (in her lungs, skeleton and the lymphatic system), at least the cancer has not spread any further as far as we know. This is a huge relief, and a reason we dare be optimistic enough to look ahead. Now she actually has a one year medical plan. To us, this is huge. It means that we are not completely crazy to try to live our lives as if there will be a tomorrow. Chances are, Tove will be around next Christmas too. It is a reason to celebrate life and love and all good things in life. Tove actually feels stronger today, than she did a year ago! Why do we as ask for your help?
Tove wants the rest of her life to be about more than just surviving one day at a time. She wants to focus on the people she loves and the creative projects she enjoys so much and wants to share with others. The Creative Fireworks and the titles she leaves behind will be her legacy, something all who knew her can share. When she is working on gaming titles, it has the added benefit that she gets to work with and for people she cares deeply about. The best way to help her is to make all the everyday hassles as easy and smooth as possible.
If I (Anders) can take time off my regular work, I can take care of Tove and all those practical issues. I want to make every day as good as possible for Tove. If there are any practical things she needs, I want to get it for her. I want to make sure she has the help she needs and I want to put a silver lining on every day.
Tove dares to dream about the future. She is pushing herself constantly to do as much as she can, where small victories are celebrated. When she was able to take a first step in the stairs (on crutches, but still), it was a huge victory. It was that step that made it possible for us to leave home without an ambulance. A week later, she was visiting the Swedish gaming convention GothCon – the goal she had worked towards for months. Now she has set her dreams even higher, hoping to be able to abroad too – to see loved ones, as well as being part of International launches on some of the titles she is working on.
The year has not been without setbacks. There have been moments when the pain has been horrible, the breathing turned worse and her energy level tanked. When we got the one year treatment plan, we allowed ourselves to sigh in relief and actually feel just how tired we were, how much of a toll the entire situation has taken upon us. Still, Tove is alive today, a year after our first crowdfunding campaign. All the reasons we needed help last year are still valid. We have been fortunate, Tove survived 2018. Now we look towards 2019 with our hopes set high and a will to make the best of it.Tove received your love
Last year, many of you made a huge difference in our lives, not only by backing the crowdfunding campaign Love Tove. The memories and stories you shared with us and others made Tove felt loved and appreciated. We were humbled by the enormous outpouring of support. You touched our souls, and I want you all to know that it made a difference. All the personal messages, the anecdotes told in blog posts and on social media were lighting our days. Tove’s days.
Some of you reached out and helped us with projects of different kinds, lending a helping hand in a very practical way. It helped a lot, and made everything from the Creative Fireworks to our presence at GothCon so much easier. We truly enjoyed talking to so many of you at GothCon and the Gothenburg Book Fair, and we are always thrilled to hear when gamers have had a fun time playing our games both at conventions and at home!
We were also humbled by the recognition received from others, such as the GothCon gaming convention, Sverok (Swedish organization organization for gamers) and game publishers such as Helmgast and Eloso.
You all made a huge difference in our lives 2018. Thank you!2018 – we made good use of your help
Thanks to the support from backers last year, a lot of good things were possible in 2018. I (Anders) was able to take time off my regular work, to be there for Tove. I could handle everything from making it possible for her to get to and from the computer – a prerequisite for her work on the Creative Fireworks – to practical service and emotional support. Tove has the ability to enjoy life, even when times are tough. That said, she is a person who needs to talk about the good as well as the bad. Being able to be there and do that was a blessing.
We changed our entire home to make Tove’s new life as easy as possible. Much of the aid we got last year will help us during coming years as well – such as a specially made wheel chair that can be folded into the elevator in our building and portable oxygen! They are bot prerequisites for Tove to be able to leave home, and to travel. She now has a great bed, adapted to all her medical needs and not the least to let her sleep sitting up.
Travelling last year changed a lot compared to what we have been used to. Now, we need to bring the wheel chair and the portable oxygen. Tove cannot travel in a regular car, the trains cannot facilitate both the wheels chair and the oxygen and until she can turn the oxygen off, going by plane is out of the question. Hence, we need to go in a special wheel chair transport, attached with electricity for her oxygen machine. Once we get to our destination, we also need to both stay at a hotel that is wheel chair accessible and can provide a medical bed, which is easier said than done. The costs rack up quickly, but Tove was able to attend both GothCon (Sweden’s biggest roleplaying game convention) and the Gothenburg Book Fair. It was the support from last year’s backers that made it possible. Thank you for these bright memories.
Do you want to help us and get something in return for your kind support? Since we are gaming publishers, there are lots of titles from Åskfågeln you can buy for yourself or others. We always want our titles to be played and read, so spreading them to new gamers is just an added bonus. There are lots of places you can get hold of our games and books. You can always look for Åskfågeln at your local gaming store (even outside Sweden, since we are part of Modiphius’ distribution network). Or you can find us online at:Åskfågeln.se
Our company web store and the only place where you can buy Gift Cards from Åskfågeln, if you already got all of the titles we already published and want to be sure to get hold of upcoming books as well. Please note that many of our titles are only available in Swedish.www.åskfågeln.se Modiphius
To begin with, you can find the spectacular photo book on Dice – Rendeavous with Randomness and the first two Freeway Warrior Game Books over athttps://www.modiphius.net/collections/western
Even more titles will follow, since we are adding a lot of new titles in English to our production line during 2019. You will find them at Modiphius to, as well as in gaming stores within their distribution net.Indiepress Revolution
The International home for our Best of Fenix volumes in hardback (as well as in pdf)http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/manufacturers.php?manufacturerid=279 Drivethrurpg.com
Here you will find an increasing amount of pdf-files of gaming titles from us at Åskfågeln. Please note that some titles are in Swedish only, while others are in English. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/8767/Askfageln
Thank you all,
Anders and Tove Gillbring