Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine

by Charitable Foundation Zaporuka
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Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Sofia and her son Mark
Sofia and her son Mark

Dear friends,

thank you so much for supporting children with cancer in Ukraine in time of war.

One of these childrenis Mark. He was diagnosed with cancer after February 24, the date that changed the lives of all people in Ukraine.

Mark’s mom Sofia tells their story:

“I am Sofia. I am a mother of five children. My daughter Ilona is the eldest. She is 17, an 11th-grade student, preparing to leave school. My other children are all boys, also pupils. I call them “my football team.” David has just turned 14 years old. Vania is 9. Saveliy is a first-grader. Mark, the youngest – only two and a half. We are from Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast.

Mark’s disease struck us out of nowhere. It happened in March. After the beginning of the Russian invasion. Honestly, we were neither ready for the former nor the latter. Of course, no one can be ready for that.

The local hospital didnt have the equipment to examine Mark properly. They took everything away from the war zone. In Kramatorsk, we saw everything – shelling, flying rockets, explosions. We have an airfield near our apartment. In the first days, all the explosions were very close to us. The last blast we witnessed made our neighbors’ windows blow out. Ours did not fall apart, they just opened wide. It was very fortunate that the broken glass did not injure anyone.

It was terrifying to stay in our apartment. We quickly moved to my children’s godfather, in a village near the city. But bombs hit there, too. Shelling hit four private houses, and they burned to the ground. With people inside. Everyone who lived there died.

Children are terrified of sirens and loud noises nearby. When there is an air alarm, the boys immediately climb under the beds and hide there. Ilona runs to the bathroom. It’s an automatic reaction now. Fear is already in their blood.

I got hysterical when the doctors talked about going to Lviv and the possibility of evacuation for treatment abroad. How will I go so far away without taking all of my children with me? The Zaporuka team organizing this evacuation reassured me that we would all be together.

We had two hours to get ready. The children didn’t take anything with them. No clothes, no textbooks. We went to Lviv by the evacuation train. Without a nurse, alone. Mark was injected with painkillers, antibiotics, and antipyretics. I don’t remember how that day went on the train. It was a trip to “nowhere” for me, with a son in my arms who could die. This thought still chills my mind.

In the hospital in Lviv, the doctors told me there would be no evacuation abroad. Mark wouldn’t survive the trip. My boy is currently undergoing the fifth chemo cycle. In a week, there will be the sixth one, the final. Surgery is the next. CT will show what the results are. From the looks of it, Mark is energetic. He is in a good mood. Not at all sluggish, as it was in the beginning. I finally recognize my boy.

We all spent the night in the hospital the first night after arrival. Now all my family lives in the small town of Sokal, not far from LvivZaporuka has rented a house for our family, helps us with food, with everything. I am very grateful to them. They saved me – homeless, with an ill child in my hands.

I believe in the best. I see progress after the chemotherapy. Mark feels much better. I pray to God that the child survives the surgery. I am very worried about this. But I can’t afford to show this emotion. He sees everything and reacts to my moods.

I don’t want to leave Ukraine. This is our home, our land. Like all of us, I want the war to end sooner... For Mark to get well. This is the most important thing for me. This is my personal front.

Your contributions make it possible to provide accommodation, food and other basic products for kids and their families fleeing the war. Thank you so much for being there for us!

 

Together
Together
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Brothers are safe now
Brothers are safe now

Dear friends,

thank you for making home away from home for kids with cancer!

On February 24th, when Russia invaded Ukraine starting this terrible war, the families who stayed at the Dacha house had to decide very quickly what to do to save their children.

We organized for them the evacuation to Ternopil in Western Ukraine and three families left immediately. They were very scared. The journey was very difficult because of bombardment and heavy traffic. It took 15 hours to reach the destination. It was really hard for kids, for example, for Vika who was in grave condition after being on treatment for 3 years but they made it.

It was the right decision to evacuate kids immediately because then they could go abroad for further treatment. Those kids who remained in Kyiv longer had to stay in basements without chemo and other therapies because drugs couldn’t be delivered to them in time.

Now the rented Dacha house is closed in Kyiv. The new house Dacha we have been building for three years and preparing for inauguration in June is also closed for now. The father of one of the girls we evacuated to Italy for treatment stays in the house as a volunteer guardian to make sure everything is alright there (as much as it can be alright during the war). We hope that we will be able to open this house to help kids in the future.  

Now your contributions make it possible to provide temporary accommodation for kids with cancer and their families on the way to safety from all over Ukraine. Thank you so much for being there for us in the most difficult time of the modern Ukrainian history! 

Kids playing when they are safe
Kids playing when they are safe
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Ira with her mom at the Dacha
Ira with her mom at the Dacha

Dear friends,

thank you for making a home away from home for kids with cancer!

Dacha house is a place where kids forget about hospitals and therapies. Here, they are free to indulge in what they like to do. Like Ira, Dacha's make-up artist.

15-year-old Ira comes from a family of refugees. She had to leave everything behind with her mom to escape the war. When their life got back to normal somehow, Ira fell ill. She felt that something was wrong with her cheek in 2020. It was the pandemic's beginning, and then it was next to impossible to go to the doctor. They sent the picture of the swelling in messenger, but in such a way, the doctor couldn't make an accurate diagnosis. Ira managed to get to the hospital only when she felt sharp pain. After surgery and biopsy, it turned out that it was cancer.

Ira was on treatment in Kyiv for almost a year. When she was not receiving therapy, she came to the Dacha with her mom. There, she could enjoy her favorite pastime: make-up. She learned new techniques from internet tutorials and posted her own ideas on her Instagram page.  She got a new make-up kit as a birthday present, and she experimented with it to share with her followers.

As you can see in the pictures, Ira is skillful. She is always ready to share her skills with others. She organized make-up masterclasses for Dacha moms and girls and taught them her secrets. Even in their hardest life period, they want to be beautiful, and Ira helps them with it.

Thank you for making Dacha possible for Ira and 70 other kids who need a place to be themselves in a difficult time in their lives.

Ira at work
Ira at work
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Zhenia with Dima in their Dacha times
Zhenia with Dima in their Dacha times

Dear friends,

thank you for making the second home for kids and their parents during cancer treatment in Ukraine.

Dacha has been active since 2009. In these 12 years, the house hosted more than 1230 children, their moms and dads.

One of them was young mother Zhenia, whose little son Dima was ill with cancer.

When a child, Zhenia lost her leg in a car accident. The prosthesis did not prevent her from being the most energetic and the most cheerful parent at the Dacha house. During the day, she managed to wash all the surfaces in their room so that germs do not interfere with her kid’s recovery, read for her son, bake something delicious, and relieve stress playing the guitar in the evening for all Dacha families. Always with a smile and love for life.

After Dima got well and went into remission, Zhenia found her calling in sports and began training to become a wheelchair fencer. With her perseverance, she made Ukraine’s Paralympic Team. Now, 10 years later, we got the news from Tokyo that Zhenia won the bronze, the first Paralympic medal for Ukraine! Then there was more: the silver medal in the team event, contributing  to Ukraine’s team success the New York Times wrote about.

Zhenia remembers Dacha house with warmth and gratitude, saying that it was big support when she needed it most.

Thank you for making Dacha possible for people who need it in a difficult time in their lives.

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Dacha kids celebrating
Dacha kids celebrating

Dear friends,

thank you for making the second home for kids during their cancer treatment in Ukraine.

Dacha is a home away from home for kids and their families. They live their lives here and grow through important milestones.

Like for little Vika, who has celebrated her 10th birthday here. The party organized for her was a big secret. The girl was pleasantly shocked when she came to the living room and saw mom, dad, and Dacha friends inviting her to a brilliantly decorated photo area made to memorize this day in pictures. Then there was a show for her from volunteers, beautiful and tasty cakes, many gifts. Lots of positive emotions will help Vika and her friends go through hard days in the hospital that will follow.

New Dacha we are building now will be a second home and a special place for even more kids and families. Despite the difficulties we had in the previous months, arson on the construction site, the works are going as planned. Now we focus on the internal works such as painting and tiling the walls. The rooms in which kids will live with their parents are already in color, as you can see in the picture below.

Thank you! You make Dacha and New Dacha possible!

New Dacha in color
New Dacha in color
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Organization Information

Charitable Foundation Zaporuka

Location: Kyiv - Ukraine
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @_zaporuka
Project Leader:
Iana Dashkovska
Kyiv, Ukraine
$58,175 raised of $100,000 goal
 
547 donations
$41,825 to go
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