Our Lone Grandmas

A small fact gleaned from observing social media and public opinion.
Nearly all my stories about deaths of people we cared for or scandals, like the story of rape attempt of Vika from Vergunka, usually get several tens of thousands of views. But nearly all the texts about how we painstakingly and constantly help people from Donbass get, as a maximum–several hundred, or many even several tens, but definitely not thousands.
That’s how things are.
I know it’s hype. I realize that’s human nature. I understand everything.
But that’s why I don’t give up. Because even though that’s human nature, which needs scandals and blood, a group of people coalesced around me (that’s you, folks)))) which has such big hearts that all of these views lose importance. One and the same set of people keeps sending money. Month after month. Quietly, without letters, we’re simply getting aid. Retirees, students, grown men, fathers of many children, single moms, young girls. Whatever they can.
A single post like this is the result of tremendous effort by many people. It’s not only about our Lena and Zhenya who work miracles while living there, in Lugansk. It’s also about the long chain of caring, love, and kindness of many, many people.
All of these tiny streams transform into big help for many people.
I wrote many times–believe me, it’s not about the packets of food and medications which our team brings the needy. The problem lies in that these people have nobody else to help them. Many of them lost their loved ones. They face unimaginable struggles and they have no option but to survive.
I won’t even mention the fact they live in a war zone.
But now they have us. They know it. It’s tears without end.
Not only of sadness but of joy and gratitude.
How one wants these tears would go away. Reasons for them would go away. But we’re powerless to do the impossible. But we can do that which is within our power. “Do what you can.” So we try.
As best we can.

This post is dedicated to one of the least protected categories of people under our care. We call them “lone grandmas”.
Scroll through the photos. Look at them.
You’ve been observing many families for years. And I repeat the same words month after month.
But…please read, look. I’m asking you.
I also always remind you that if you want to help these families, please label your contributions “grandmas”. Incidentally, likes, comments, reposts all help a great deal too.
Thank you! Thank you for your aid and caring! It gives strength not only to these people, but to all of us. To me.
Thank you for being there. Please forgive me for repeating the same things over and over.
But still–it’s such joy to know you, even if in absentia (though many in person, too).
In hoc signo vinces!

Our Lyubov Mikhailovna with grandkids, Timur and Elisey. She raises them alone. Thank God the unfit mother was deprived of custody by courts (hurrah, since the spring LPR courts have started dealing with civil cases!). But she can’t get custody for herself. Either the judge is on leave, or the assistant “forgot” to deliver the right documents. Which means she has to get all the papers together again in order for her to get child care benefits. They live only off her pension. Lyubov has many health problems, including diabetes.
We’ve recently brought her medications.



Help learn how to hear!

Today I will tell you how our Rodion is doing. The deaf boy from Lugansk who in the spring had a cochlear implant done in Moscow.
In August he underwent a second round of exercises in the Rostov Master-Slukh center which specializes in adapting children to such implants. Big thanks to the center which undertook to do it for free.
But there are nuances. One of them is that treatment takes a week at a time and, according to the specialists, he needs one every two months, though it’s even better to do it every month. It is difficult to go to Rostov that often with a boy like that. Thank goodness we found a specialist in Lugansk who knows how to work with children with implants (but he can’t tune the apparatus, and can perform only some of the tasks, while the center has a whole range of specialists). She has to be paid. Moreover, there’s the trip from Lugansk to Rostov, eating there, phone calls and all the rest–that’s astronomically expensive for the family. Unfortunately, there were few responses after my most recent post, which means we were using non-earmarked donations.
This is the most important time for the boy, and if he doesn’t undergo intensive activities with specialists, does not get proper tuning, the implant will not have any sense. The boy, after all, spent two and a half years of his life not knowing what sound is. And now he’s been exposed to a new universe which he doesn’t understand and doesn’t know what to do with. He’s facing another trip to Rostov, so we would be very grateful if you could help Rodion.
Please label your contributions “Rodion”.
The photos below are from August exercises at Master-Slukh.



It didn’t burn because it’s empty

We didn’t have contact with Oksana since last fall.
I don’t know if you remember her. A single mom, widow from Lugansk.
The husband joined militia back in ’14. He perished in ’15, on May 9–the Victory Day. Oksana nearly went mad from the sadness. But she has two children, for whom she lives on.
She’s disabled. Neurological issues. Constant headaches–those who’ve had them, understand. Everything is difficult. Sometimes it’s impossible to get up from bed. And the kids are still little. They have to be fed, clothed, shod, assisted with schoolwork. Since we last talked, their affairs have not gotten better, only worse. There is a sense that life is falling into a chasm. Everything’s falling apart, there is no strength to do anything.
They recently had an incident–the electricity meter blew up and burned out all the electrical equipment in the house, together with the wiring. Even the phone burned because it was being charged. Lamps blew up. Only the refrigerator survived. It didn’t burn because it was empty, and they disconnected it…

Oksana and her son Kolya.



A “Swallow”, Chairs, and Fabric

In late July I asked you to help the Lugansk orphanage. Or, rather, the rehab center.
Help of a certain kind. It was not a matter of emergency.
The center lost its “Swallow”, a car that was extremely useful to them. It was used to take kids to hospitals or wherever they needed to go. It was not used to chauffeur notables. This “bird” helped kids and then it broke down, and the center had no money to fix it.
And then we all managed to collect money (not a lot, but even that was beyond the center’s budget) and fix the car!
The “Swallow” is flying again!
Hurrah!
But that’s not all)))
My ear and caring readers sent more money than needed and we, as promised, spent them on the center.

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“Our” Ward

I recently wrote about dozens of families living on the Donbass whom we are helping. But it’s a fact that our help since nearly the start developed in various directions since ’14. We regularly help not only specific individuals but also entire old age homes, rehab centers, hospitals, hospices, orphanages, etc.
For example, we’ve been regularly assisting the Lugansk Infant Pathology Ward attached to the maternity ward.
Amazing people work there, particularly the director. She is on the right on the last photo. Zhenya writes about visiting them: “It’s always very pleasant to come here. They are very sincerely, earnestly glad to see us, without hiding emotions. As if we were family.)))”
Incidentally, remember how we recently brought them a printer-scanner?
From Natalya of Karelia.
It’s right there on the first photo.
The staff use it and are very happy with it. And send huge thanks to Natalya and everyone else who is not indifferent)))



The “Diabetes” Tag

As you know, helping diabetics is a very important part of our Donbass aid effort.
Here, I want to tell you about one individual.
I don’t even remember when Sasha first appeared. He simply wrote and offered help.
He was at the time delivering a large batch of foodstuffs through some foundation, delivered some to us as well. That’s how we obtained A LOT of condensed milk, canned meat, and groats that we distributed among families under our care. That was back in ’15.
Then Sasha somehow read my post about diabetics and test strips. I don’t recall when that was.
You know that diabetics must constantly monitor their blood sugar. For them it’s a given without which they cannot survive. There were gaps in insulin supply in Lugansk in ’14-’15, now it’s available in clinics, moreover all kinds are available. Though even in ’16 not everything was being handed out. So we brought certain types of insulin for our blind Vika. The kind of insulin she was issued made her feel worse. Now, thank God there are no problems with insulin in LPR.
But when it comes to glucose-meters and test strips, they have to be purchased by individuals themselves, like elsewhere in the world. This is where the problem is. On average, two packets of strips are needed a month. That’s about 1500 rubles (optimistically). Moreover, pharmacies often run out and there are delays in deliveries. People always try to stock up, whenever possible.
Local endocrinologists say that diabetes is sharply on the rise. Huge number of new cases. I’m speaking of insulin-dependent. Many children. Due to these “stresses”, if such a word is appropriate when speaking about war. For most locals it’s too much to afford. Average salary in the region is 6-8 thousand rubles.
There are also problems with the paramedic stations. They issue only the minimum, so the medics are forced to take people to labs to rule out diabetes. It would be quicker and easier to do this on the spot. I wrote a post about this some time ago. Then  Sasha instantly wrote “Dunya, how about I deliver short expiration date stuff? It’s cheaper, and they will all be used up?”
They are being used up. You wouldn’t believe how fast.

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Our Rodion

So, how are things with our Rodion?
Considering he was born deaf, huge progress!
I remember how Rodion was running around without hearing clapping of hands or even car horns.
Now he can hear the TV, reacts to phone ringing, and turns when the parrot flaps her wings.
And when music is playing nearby, he starts to dance!)
Mom said that he doesn’t recognize speech.
But so far he’s had only one tuning! There is still titanic effort ahead of him, and everything is still in the future!
Friends, Rodion and his mom will go to Rostov to the “MasterSlukh” clinic where he will undergo intensive therapy.

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Another Deterioration

A pone call: “Friends, I’m calling you again…please forgive me…can you help with medications?”
And yet Anya has not called for a long time. Moreover, people like Anya call only when it’s the last resort. And it is…
The last post about Anya came out over a year ago, in July 2018! In November ’17 she stopped walking. She couldn’t get up, pure and simple. It’s as if her legs were not hers anymore.
Her home had ropes installed, stools all over the place. The tried to crawl.
At that time we all collected money and were able to fund her treatment for over half a year.
Anya and her family live in Lugansk, and you realize that even normal families don’t simply live there, to say nothing about ones with multiple children.
We brought food and thank heavens she started to walk again last summer.
It didn’t happen very quickly.
But it was a major breakthrough.
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Our Tanker

I wrote a piece about political rallies. And I didn’t even erase it–let it sit a little, if I don’t change my mind I’ll publish it.
But for now I’d rather tell you how Lena and Zhenya visited our Seryozha Kutsenko.
Our tanker, who lives in a retirement home in Lugansk.
He lost his home due to UAF shelling of Khryashchevatoye during the summer of ’14.
Then he lost a leg. No, he wasn’t wounded. But he has polyarthritis and he spent six months in inhumane conditions, limping on a crutch in a barrack. He fell and his leg was injured. It could not be saved. But he survived which back then was under a question mark.
On the photo, Seryozha is racing in his tank–an electric wheelchair which Natasha bought for him.
My Natasha, a young lady who somehow accidentally read a post about him. And…decided to help.
And Seryozha became “ours”. “Mine”.
To read more about him, click on the “Kutsenko” tag at the bottom of this post.

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Young Vika

There are many species of dirtbag. One can spend a long time writing that everyone has good and bad aspects, that everyone is a sinner and may err. I know one thing: monsters who rape, who assault children ought to be castrated and put into a cage. I don’t care whether that’s humane or not. I don’t care what others think of it. Once upon a time it was a norm, in my life and my existence, the monsters who should be excluded from society.
Here’s the story. I spent two months thinking about whether to write it. Or, rather, decided it’s not worth it.
But ut turned out that I was asked several times in person about this family, and I realized I must tell the story.
Do you remember Ira from Vergunka and her two children? Who gave birth during the shelling? The husband, father of both children, went off to find work and vanished without a trace. Ira together with daughter Vika and Vovchik are struggling. Vergunka–the locals know–is the edge of Lugansk which was pummeled by all the “arty”. It’s on the line of contact to this day. It had no power for two years since the war started. Water supply is still spotty.
Ira escaped to Lugansk when half of her village was destroyed. Half the houses on her street were destroyed down to foundations. Her house was also badly damaged, everything was looted. Down to forks and napkins. Ira, without a roof over her head, with crumbling walls and without pots or pans began life anew with an infant and a young girl. The father “vanished” and has not reappeared.
To read more about them, click on the “Vergunka” tag. We’ve been helping them for several years.

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