How hundreds of awesome translators saved my little CAT-tool

Greater than 5 minutes, my friend!

Bad things always happen when you least expect it.

No wonder. No one really spends their day waiting for a bad thing to happen.

Most of us start a new day full of hope and live their lives assuming that everything will always be ok, and that everyone you love will always be safe and sound.

But sometimes things happen.

And when they do, they happen in the most sinister and evil manner leaving you absolutely helpless and devastated.

This is how I felt when my cat Mindy got sick and needed an urgent and rather expensive surgery.

I couldn’t foresee this happening because, well, no one really expects bad things to happen to those they love and care about.

That’s why when it happened I was absolutely heartbroken and didn’t know what to do.

We couldn’t afford the surgery.

We didn’t have the rainy day fund and have just spent most of the money we had on vacation (assuming that we’ll make more when we get back to work).

On top of that our credit cards have been pretty much maxed out for the past 2 years after we spent a lot of money on education (around 40k CAD if we combine my wife’s 2-year program and my 1-year program at George Brown College).

I really had no other choice but to ask for help publicly.

It was tough, but I glad I did it because I was absolutely blown away by the support of our amazing community.

I didn’t realize how many caring and supportive people we have here. I knew that The Open Mic was a special place, but I’d never thought the people of our amazing community will help me in the time of need.

Especially with something that is rather very personal.

But they did.

In less than 48 hours we reached our funding goal and Mindy was sent to surgery.

The day of surgery was rough.

I couldn’t really concentrate on anything, I remember staring at my phone waiting for the vet to call me with some news.

Surgery lasted for almost 3 hours and they had to remove 5 cm of Mindy’s small intestines and place a feeding tube in her throat.

Dr. Oscar had to stay for 3 hours after his shift to make sure Mindy has regained her consciousness after anesthesia and her blood pressure is normal.

Next few days were all about patiently waiting to see if she’ll manage to pull through.

I had to put aside all the work and all the projects because I simply couldn’t think about anything.

Taking into the account that Mindy had a major surgery it definitely took a lot of time before she could fully recover.

But the amazing doctors and vet technicians really did a top-notch job giving Mindy the best possible care and one week later Mindy was back home.

After two weeks of rather intensive treatment and medications I’m happy to say: Mindy is back on her 4 paws!

But more importantly all of that wouldn’t be possible without you. Without The Open Mic.

I’m grateful to all the people who helped us and donated money. I’m also grateful to all the people who helped me spread the word and send their love and prayers.

I’m truly blessed to live among such amazing and caring people.

You’re our guardian angels!

I received so many messages and comments and I was simply blown away by all your love and support. Thank you for that from the bottom of my heart!

And I apologize if I missed some of your messages and didn’t reply to you.

Right now Mindy is doing pretty well and back to her normal self, she’s a fun little kitty and she brings an endless amount of joy and happiness to our lives.

Here are some pictures that I took a few days ago:

The amazing doctors

I also want to give a proper shout-out to the amazing doctors and vet technicians of Sherbourne Animal Hospital.

Dr. Oscar, Dr Elise and all the amazing and caring members of their team were absolutely amazing and did a terrific job!

I could feel the love and that they really care about their patients and treat them as if they were their own pets.

Here’s a picture of Dr. Oscar who has performed the surgery, taken during our (hopefully) last visit to their clinic:

Mindy during our last visit to dr. oscar

Mindy doesn’t seem to be very excited about this visit to the vet 😀

The community support and public scrutiny

The support of the community was absolutely amazing!

We raised 2,070 USD thanks to the donations from 127 people!

There were people who send 5 dollars or less and there were people who donated 50, 100 and even 200 dollars.

But it doesn’t really matter what amount you’ve donated.

What matters is that it made a difference. You are the ones who made that surgery possible and helped me save Mindy.

I’m forever in your debt.

Now, even though people were overwhelmingly supportive, there were a few pretty hurtful and disappointing comments on social media.

Some people were wondering why I was able to afford a vacation but couldn’t pay my vet’s bill.

Some people questioned the way I set priorities in life.

Some people removed their Open Mic accounts or unsubscribed from all our emails the moment they received an email from me asking for help.

At first I was angry.

But then I realized that there are two kinds of people: those who trust you and help without asking questions and those who are very good and quick and judging the actions and the intentions of others.

Which of them are good people?

Which of them are bad?

I don’t know.

I’m just blessed that the caring and loving people are a majority and I believe that what goes around comes around.

Yes, I agree that I’m irresponsible and that my financial choices leave much to be desired (not having any savings for emergencies like this is very irresponsible of me).

But I just hope that we’ll all learn from this.

I’m just sad that Mindy had to suffer through all of this because of me.

By the way, we’ve spent something around 4,500 CAD in total if we include all the bills from our vet.

I definitely think that without the support of The Open Mic community and our friends and family we would never be able to pay that kind of bill, so once again huge thanks to all the people who helped us without asking any questions.

Those who still doesn’t believe that we actually spent that kind of money on treatment, can always reach out to me and I’ll be happy to provide all the receipts and invoices.

How will that affect The Open Mic?

I’m still not sure how everything that happened would affect The Open Mic as a platform.

I hope that people would still use it and keep sharing their stories.

I also hope that in the future we’ll figure out a way to help other people in need or join our forces to support a good cause.

I still believe that this community is very special and that it is full of kind and caring people.

That’s why I’ll keep working as hard as I possible to make it even better.

The Open Mic has been around for 6 months (happy half year anniversary, by the way) and I think we accomplished a lot in a very short time.

But I also think that this is just the beginning and that we’re barely scratching the surface here.

I’m very optimistic about the future and I will keep on pushing this little community forward and hopefully together we’ll make our industry and profession a little bit better.

Thank you so much to all the amazing people who has joined our family. You are awesome!

Dmitry Kornyukhov

About Dmitry Kornyukhov

Founder of The Open Mic. Video game localization specialist. I help video game developers, game publishers and localization studios bring their projects to the Russian-speaking gaming community.

19 thoughts on “How hundreds of awesome translators saved my little CAT-tool

  1. Great to hear Dmitry!
    I understand the people who unsubscribed. My first thought was: will this be the future of The Open Mic, with people all asking for some help for personal circumstances? I prefer to keep my personal and business matters far away from each other.
    The reason I did a donation is because I was in dept to you. You created this great platform that enables me to reach out so many other professionals and to promote my business as well. I am not sure how the future of The Open Mic will be and would love a free community with voluntary contributions, but you must have made incredible investments in order to get it working, so you deserved something in return.
    I won’t blame the people who unsubscribed but I hope they will come back and we will find a great mode to share our business passion and to help each other where we can.

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    1. Thank you, Pieter! I don’t blame them either, but at the time I felt personally offended and that made me very angry and unhappy, because it took a lot of courage to do what I did and it was rather humiliating.

      I thought that deleting profiles and unsubscribing was a bit of an overkill. I just couldn’t understand the reasoning behind it. I invest a lot of my time and money into The Open Mic and offer it free of charge. I constantly trying to improve things, build something new and push this community forward. That’s why I couldn’t wrap my mind around this. Maybe, what I did was wrong, but I’m convinced it was the right choice I don’t really care if it made me look unprofessional, after all we all human and we all make mistakes.

      I hope that no one will ever have to live through something like this.

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    2. All of that gave me a lot of food for thought about people and communities and how we interact with each other. How we say and don’t say things. I realized that no matter how good your intentions are, there will always be people who would oppose you or question your intentions (either publicly or privately). It’s life. You can’t make everyone happy. I will continue to be good and kind to people and always assume they have the best intentions, but for some people it will never be enough.

      There’s nothing horrible about it, it just how it works. The cool thing is: I now know that the majority of people are on my side, and I’ll keep working even harder to make The Open Mic absolutely awesome for them.

      Personally I decide to focus on my “rat people” (as Paul Jarvis describes them in his article: link to or in our case it’s “cat people”. 🙂 From this point on I think my life and all the work I do here will be much more focused and geared towards the folks who get me.

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  2. I knew from the moment I saw your first post on Mindy that there would be people who would say something negative, but I never thought they would go to the point of unsubscribing. In any case, I contributed because I love cats and because I think that if we don’t take risks we will not go anywhere. I go by instinct when I help people and I’m one of those people who try to help out if I can if I know that it’s a good cause. So, I’m sure we all have learned a good lesson from this about human beings, and that’s what counts. Keep it up. I know how hard it is to work on things like this and the only compensation is the satisfaction of a job well done. I write my blog on my free time, it’s an educational blog, no economic gain, just the bragging rights! And I have a full-time job that pays the bills and I always make that clear because in some cases people might think that I’m hiding something, but I’m not. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much for writing this, Patricia and thanks for all your help and support. Building projects like this is not easy and it’s important that we all stay kind and support each other because this is the only way to move forward.

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  3. When I read the subtitle “How will that affect The Open Mic?” I didn’t understand what you were getting at right away.

    Recently I have been translating a series of articles on personal branding and one of the most important things that I learnt is that when you create a personal brand (or a community in your case) it’s equally important to attract the right people AND to repel the wrong ones.

    When I’m talking about the wrong people I don’t mean that they are bad. Maybe they just like to keep their business and personal matters separated, like Pieter mentioned above. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact it’s a good thing. But I believe that there are always exceptions and if I ever had to choose between looking professional and saving someone I love, I would have made the same choice as you did.

    That email you sent to The Open Mic community showed that you have courage and that you’re ready to be vulnerable to help someone you care about and for me this is way more important than the fact that you’re probably not so good with money, because the latter is easier to learn. I would have helped you even if I didn’t know you personally, because I believe in the same things. For someone else it’s different. And that’s ok. They are not your cat people (love the term, by the way!).

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    1. Thank you, Lena! I think this might have something to do with both how I position The Open Mic at times and how people perceive this project. I personally think that there’s nothing wrong with being a human being and showing your vulnerabilities. We all human after all and we are drawn to people and companies that are able to connect with us on a personal level.

      However, for some people such combination is simply a big no-no. There are a million of things that affect this (from age to personal experiences to education and the industry people work in).

      To some people it will always seem like I’m trying to combine an uncombinable: build a serious community/company that at the same time has personality and personal touch to it. Some might say that those 2 things should always go separate and there’s nothing I can do to change their mind.

      We’re all very passionate individuals here and we all can have our own opinions. This example just shows that maybe The Open Mic is not for everyone, like I imagined it would be. And honestly, I think it’s not such a big deal, really 🙂

      The vast majority of people are still here, still using The Open Mic, still receiving a lot of value from this free platform and lots of new people are joining our tiny family every day (we just crossed the 1,400 members mark, by the way). So, this just shows that I need to focus on all those awesome people who are here with us and make sure they have a great time here! Simple as that. 🙂

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  4. Hi Dmitry, I’m happy to read that Mindy is well now 🙂

    As far as people who decided to unsubscribe because of your corageous and desperate ask to help you and your family in a painful situation, honestly, who cares?

    As Pieter said, you helped us all (at least many of us) so much with this strong idea of the Open Mic, why shouldn’t we give something back?
    All the best!

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  5. Dmitry, for what it is worth: I think the Open Mic is really great. I easily spend 3 hours a week reading stuff, and once in awhile I also contribute to the community. Ideas of people who agree and disagree are important. If people leave, they must have their reasons. I don’t see what that could be because there is a very wide variety of topics, the tone is almost always positive, … I don’t understand what triggers people to unsubscribe, just because of your call to support your cat???They probably can’t imagine how much work you put into this group. We probably all contributed because we are grateful, … or cat lovers 😉

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    1. Thank you, Gert! I’m really grateful for everything you do here and for all your comments, articles and feedback that you share! I feel sorry that I still didn’t fix those bugs that you’ve flagged last two times. I’m trying to do everything I can but it seems like I need a developer to help me with those little annoying things.

      It’s always a pleasure to read your posts here, even when I don’t have much time to leave comments.

      About the amount of work, that’s probably true, simply because I don’t have much time to share, I prefer to focus on work instead 🙂 But those who are curious can always check our Trello Board to see what I’m up to: link to – there’s an insane amount of information in there about all the ideas I and the community have and what is currently in development. I also record bugs there. But Trello is the tip of the iceberg, really. I do a lot more than that: user engagement and onboarding, for example, providing support, answering questions, social media marketing and much much more.

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  6. Such cases as this one are a great way to sieve out users that you don’t really want as users. Good for the karmas of everyone involved.

    Yes, and I’m super-glad for your family of three!

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