| Jan 30, 2024
Alina after having surgery on her left femur
On behalf of the brave children battling cancer in Ukraine, Soleterre would like to present the inspiring story of young Alina.
Alina’s world was changed when doctors found evidence of osteosarcoma in her left femur. She was diagnosed at just 15 years old.
Although terrorized by the idea of undergoing a surgery that would involve a bone transplant from another healthy donor, Alina was eager to have the surgery and return home. Longing for how her life was before the diagnosis, she was anxious to get back to the normal everyday life she was accustomed to, busy with her favorite activities at school, dancing, playing volleyball and helping her mother with chores around their house.
While Alina and her family understood the seriousness of her diagnosis and what they were to expect along the road to recovery, her journey was not been easy nor without complication. Alina has had to overcome many obstacles, and yet, with the love of those around her, she has risen above so many moments of despair. Alina’s boyfriend, Petro, has been by her side throughout this difficult time, offering her all of his support at the hospital where Alina is being treated. Present for every appointment with Alina’s physiotherapist, Petro has been a helpful and supportive observer, assisting Alina as she completes each exercise, lending special attention to each manipulation. In a way, he has become an essential member of Alina’s recovery team, helping her to grow stronger with every passing day.
A week after the initial surgery, Alina’s doctors began to see some physical progress. Initially, her knee moved with limited flexibility, bending to a maximum of 50 degrees and tending to fold inward. Despite all this, she managed to stand on her own feet with some stability. Another week passed and Alina saw yet another achievement: she was ready to walk with crutches, capable of intermittently supporting her weight on her recently operated limb. This was followed by another exciting development: Alina could now extend her knee to 70 degrees! With each new achievement, Alina’s confidence and faith in the success of her ongoing treatment grew. After 4 months, Alina was able to flex her knee 110 degrees. Ditching the crutches, Alina was walking solo once again.
While the doctors expressed doubts about the recovery of Alina’s left leg, unsure if she would ever return to full functionality after such a complex operation, her ongoing progress continues to inspire them. Determined not to give up, Alina’s dedication to her physical rehabilitation has led her doctors to admit that they had never seen such a tremendous recovery. Since her initial diagnosis, Alina's recovery has transformed into personal triumph. Driven not let any stares or whispers guide her future, Alina has even reintroduced her favorite shorts into her everyday wardrobe.
“I don't want anything to stop me from enjoying what I love.” Alina’s recovery has proved a testament to her strong will and desire to live life free from restrictions.
A success story in her own right, Alina is also committed to sharing her experience with other children who are facing a similar diagnosis and fate. She tells them about how she managed to overcome the odds and inspires them to move forward, even when the process of physical therapy proves boring and painful.
“These exercises are our best chance to recover what we have lost. But remember: they only work if you truly believe in yourself, stay focused and give it your all."
Alina presents herself as an example of resilience and determination, hoping to motivate other young, brave survivors to pursue their own healing journeys with the same strength and conviction she embodies. Soleterre's team is among those inspired by Alina, and we are incredibly proud of all that she has achieved.
Alina is an inspiration to staff & her peers.