Dec 28, 2017

Returning to Normal Life after Cancer

Dear friends,

thank you for supporting seriously ill children from Ukraine together with Zaporuka in 2017. We hope you will be with us in 2018 too. 

This year was not easy for us because medicines and medical materials from the state procurement arrived not regularly and there were periods when the selection of medications available at the hospital was quite limited. The families of children with cancer had either to buy them if they could or to ask for help. And we did our best to help them. Some medical procedures were not performed in Ukraine because of the lack of necessary equipment and in such a case the families had to go abroad for treatment and to pay for it. We helped them too.

Zaporuka also provides services such as psychological assistance and rehabilitation. I would like to tell you more about rehabilitation. This service for children affected by cancer didn’t exist in the healthcare system inherited from the Soviet Union. Childhood cancer was considered incurable. It is not true because in the case of childhood cancers the survival rates are more than 60 percent, so there are a lot of survivors who need rehabilitation to recover and to return to normal life. In 2009 Zaporuka Foundation launched the rehabilitation service for the first time in Ukraine. And since then it exists thanks to donations.

Every year up to 50 kids hospitalized at the National Cancer Institute in Kyiv are prescribed with rehabilitation. Mostly these kids have tumors in the limbs and need rehabilitation following surgeries aimed at inserting the endoprosthesis (bone prosthesis). Also kids who have amputations may need rehabilitation to help in preparing the stump for the prosthesis but, fortunately, nowadays in most cases doctors can save limbs.  Like, for example, Vadym’s leg was saved with the help of endoprosthesis that Zaporuka helped to purchase. Then the boy started rehabilitation with massages and exercises in order to be able to walk again. Or Ksenia that you can see working in the picture: after surgery her knee joint and her foot don’t function properly but the girl is very motivated and is ready to experience pain in order to get better results.

In all cases rehabilitation must be individual and with great attention to the condition caused by the oncological disease, so it is very important that our team has so much experience accumulated during the years of working with these patients. Your support means the continuation of this project and of the whole program helping children affected by cancer in Ukraine implemented by Zaporuka starting from 2008.

Thank you! Happy New Year!

Dec 27, 2017

Dacha is a Special Place

Dear friends,

thank you for supporting our Center for Children Affected by Cancer Dacha in 2017. We hope you will be with our kids in 2018 too!

Dacha is a special place because here children can be happy even when they are ill. Now it is a festive time of the year, that’s why volunteers who come regularly to Dacha kids to play games, to draw pictures and to create hand-made things together do their best, so that Dacha families could enjoy holiday atmosphere. In the pictures you can see the day when there were aromas of vanilla, cinnamon and honey everywhere at the Dacha. That day the volunteers and the kids were baking Christmas gingerbreads. The Christmas tree had been already decorated and the letters to Santa Claus written. They only had to wait for the gifts of their dream.

The best gift for every family and for all of us is when a child completes treatment successfully. Like it happened to Alisa and her father Andriy whose story we told you in one of the previous reports. After 11 months of treatment, 6 preoperative and 12 postoperative chemotherapies, the girl is happy that shew will celebrate 2018 at home. As her daddy Andriy says, long treatment was easier and more comfortable because they found their second home at the Dacha. This home, this Dacha exists thanks to contributions of many people like you. Thank you from Andriy and from all of us!

Oct 8, 2017

Asking for Help is Hard

Dear friends,

thank you for supporting Ukrainian kids with cancer!

You know it’s often hard for people to ask for help, especially if we speak about men who are raised to be strong, to be able to solve all the problems and never to cry.  However, sometimes it happens that you have to do it to save something precious which is more important than pride, previous experience or anything else. That’s the story of Yaroslava and her father.

The mother abandoned Yaroslava when she was just a baby, so she is raised by a single father. Her daddy takes care of Yaroslava, he has learned to do his daughter’s hair and to choose fancy dresses. When they really need some womanly help or advice, they go to the aunt, the father’s sister. She is the only female influence that Yaroslava has in her life.

Yaroslava’s life is not easy but they say misfortunes never come singly. When Yaroslava was two years old, she had retinoblastoma, rare cancer that affected the tissue of the eye. Unfortunately, the girl’s eye had to be removed because that’s the only treatment available at that time in Ukraine. Now Yaroslava is 16 years old. And she has cancer again.

Her father Mykola is a simple worker. They live in a small town where the salaries are low, so they keep a vegetable garden to have food on their table. It’s hard for this little family to find money to pay all the medical bills. As a man Mykola didn’t get used to asking for help, he always had to work to provide for his daughter. He was a bit shy when he came to Zaporuka Foundation but he was ready to do everything to save his beloved daughter.

With your contributions, we can help children like Yaroslava: those that come from single-parent families, from families with many children and from low-income families. Thank you!

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