Rodion’s in Moscow!

Rodion has arrived in Moscow together with his mom!
I want to express my thanks to Irina Bednova who helped us organize FREE rehabilitation treatment in Moscow.
Rodion was born during the war in Lugansk. He was so long awaited that his arrival turned out to be unexpected. After six months it was clear he had problems with hearing. Only after a year was he diagnosed with deafness. One must understand LPR has, to put it mildly, very limited health care capabilities. Moreover, it did not have the right specialists.
In May 2019 the boy had a cochlear implant made on the right ear in Moscow, thanks to Irina Bednova.
In September such an operation was performed on the left ear, but in Kiev. Also for free, thank God.



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Oh that Seryozha of ours!

I’m not angry at him, but how can I not put him in the corner and chew him out? A grown dude, acting like a little kid!
The partisan is quiet, and the who matter is a delicate one for him. He’s awkward, embarrassed. Problems began a long time ago, with urology. He kept quiet about it. “Awkward”. “Embarrassing”.
It got to the point that our friends took him to a urologist for an evaluation. It turned out to be serious. They’ll have to cut. But the dumbest thing is that they lost a year at least because of “awkward” and “embarrassing”.
Seryoga, you are such a dummy!



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Single Mom

Yulya and Lera live alone. Yulya is a beautiful woman who, by a miracle, is still among the living. Now disabled and without a husband, she is nevertheless raising a daughter. Lives only for her. I already wrote about them. It was a chance encounter. They live next to our sisters whom we’ve been helping for years.
Yulya is still young but can barely walk, relying on a cane. Our Lena noticed her on the street. A few words were exchanged and everything was clear. Her life was a hard one. Everything is made worse by the fact they live in LPR. Where the socially vulnerable are particularly affected because social benefits are tiny. Medical support is limited. And yes, the war there is not an abstraction but a fact. People often write me to say that, well, we have plenty of people in Russia who need help. It’s all true, there are single moms, disabled, abandoned elderly, in Russia aplenty. But believe me, it’s ten times worse in a war zone. I realize that for many that war does not exist but..you know, it’s probably useless to explain. You either get it or you don’t. And I ask you, please ignore his post if you disagree with me. There are hundreds of pages, posts, bloggers who are begging for you to deposit your opinion there.

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Vika

Our Vika, being a good Stakhanovite, performed nearly every day in late December.
I can’t understand how she’s not become a star yet.
Vika is not only a beauty, but also an improbably kind person with a strong voice.
And also with improbably high will power.
She’s had nothing but five years of cornucopia of problems, but she’s smiling, laughs, and lives.

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Holy Man

Our friend Natasha described Lyova as a “holy man. He prays for us all”. I don’t know what our Grasshopper believes, I didn’t ask. He’s a physician by education and avocation. He flies in the clouds, he lives and breathes numbers and formulas. But I’m absolutely certain it’s people like him who keep the world in balance–so I agree with Natasha. Not politicians, stars, and celebs. Everything depends on people like Lev. I know it, I’ve seen it, I feel it.
There is an amazing person in the tiny town of Pervomaysk, which is right in the line of fire in LPR. Most people around him treat him as slightly deranged. Or blessed. But you should have seen his bright eyes. Eyes, genuine eyes, full of life and earnestness. There is nothing ulterior in them, nothing that tears us from within.


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Vanya

Here’s a situation, a difficult one, and, alas, we can’t go into all the details.
Vanya’s 15, lives with grandma. The family was leading a normal life, as far as it’s possible for a fatherless family to live in LPR. Yes, they are from Lugansk, we were connected by social workers who also aid the family.
The mother has a job at the front desk at the railway station. The grandma draws a pension. Not much money, but just enough.
On April 26, 2017, the boy was walking from an aikido session back home. He was hit by a fast-moving car on a pedestrian crossing. I won’t go into all the details. Bottom line is that his life was saved, but he’s disabled. He had a broken forehead bone, requiring a trepanation. In the end he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Raynaud’s Syndrome, and several other ailments (the medical history extract is at the bottom of the post).

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Gas was cut off

Elena Ivanovna is a quiet and gentle woman who found herself in deep trouble. There’s absolutely no-one to help her. It’s been like that. But now, thank God, she now has you and us.
We became acquainted during the summer. We’ve been trying to improve the situation since.
Elena Ivanovna lives in Lugansk. She broke a leg when the war started and due to a doctor’s error it fused improperly. She can’t walk now. Then she broke her arm so badly that she can’t work. She also can’t use crutches and is not easily transported. At that time she also lost her husband to cancer. It all piled up during the war, when it was difficult to organize normal treatment and recovery.
That’s a brief summary.

 


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Oksana’s Family

Oksana’s husband perished on May 9, 2015, defending his Motherland. I don’t even know what to write, the new Motherland of LPR, or the old one, but which one? He was a militiaman and, like many, he wen toff to defend his home in Lugansk in ’14.
He left behind a wife with two children, Masha and Kolya. Here they are, on the first photo.
Oksana went through hell and one can’t even say she’s out of it yet. Only the children are keeping her afloat. She did not really live for several years after the death, she loved her husband so much. She closed inwardly but, thank God, did not lose her mind. We have helped many children whose mothers went insane due to what they went through, and who now live with their grandmothers. Kolya and Masha live with their mom and thank God everyone is alive and well.
But they are struggling.
In the fall I wrote about how all of their appliances burned down. Thanks to the money we collected we were able to not only help the family with food and medications, but even bought them a washing machine. Oksana never asked anything of us. She is very modest and does not complain. Many thanks to caring people who volunteered to help in this difficult situation.
You know, I am often offended by people who leave comments stating they also fare poorly but “they are not takers.” I’ll say this: none of these people is a “taker”. What is more–one must ask. This is normal and correct in a difficult situation. Nobody has written a comment “Dunya, please help me, I’m barely surviving.” No, these comments are simple insults directed at me and at those whom we help. I always feel bitter when I read them. I would like there to be as few people as possible in such situations. But I would also want people not to envy others and were instead able to be happy for them.
Interestingly, often people we help turn down our aid. They may have an empty refrigerator, but they’ll say “someone needs it more”. Be merciful and don’t judge! Be able to forgive, not envy, and give. Anyone can find themselves in a tight spot, anyone at all, and this war has taught me that. Don’t judge and don’t think that if you are doing well, it’s because you are doing something rights. Sometime these are people who are at odds with logic. Don’t overestimate it, it will get ahead of you and smack you on the nose.

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Life Goes On!

Look, look–what a merry beauty!
On December 11, our Vika appeared in a concert in Lugansk, dedicated to people with disabilities.
Recordings proved of poor quality therefore you won’t be able to hear Vika, but you’ll have to take us on our word! She was wonderful!
I heard her sing many times, I even posted a video. She has a strong, beautiful voice. She practices constantly at home.
She’s also improbably artistic, charismatic, and kind.

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We will fight!

I was recently asked what I would say in The Hague, when giving testimony on war crimes. I didn’t know what to say.
Probably because we’ve seen so many stories…hundreds. For example, there’s this girl who has since grown up who watched her mother’s death. Shrapnel struck her head and she died instantly. The girl, the very young girl, saw it all with her own eyes. Or, in another case, the man whose wife and son were blown to pieces all over the block. There’s also the elderly woman who lost a leg and an arm, and her own brother who lives in Dnepropetrovsk told her over the phone she’s lying and that they are “separatists” and therefore it’s her own fault. There are also invisible stories, too many to count. Each time I write about these stories, people write in comments the war has nothing to do with them.

As far as I am concerned, the war has everything to do with them.
These are our cancer patients. Whom we look after. Naturally, nobody can say why the swelling began. It’s a whole universe of causes. Rich, beautiful, young, famous, all burn out and no amount of money can save them. And  they are not in the midst of any war. This is a serious illness with which humanity has not learned to fight. But we always encounter cases where someone needed to start treatment, but had to hide in cellars because of shells. Or had to go to a doctor, but couldn’t because of shells. And when it’s not about the shells, it’s about struggling to survive. Health care system barely copes, in spite of all the aid the Republics are getting. There’s always something lacking. Hospitals are full, there are long waiting lists. And no, this is not just stress. People have been living there for six years, in isolation, with tiny salaries. Awaiting the big world’s decision. Simple, ordinary people who don’t know what tomorrow will bring. They don’t know how to live. But life goes on, time flies and, alas, nothing changes. All of these Normandy Fours, Fives, Dozens…they have no impact on ordinary lives. Shelling continues, people struggle to survive, the world does not recognize. There is no work, salaries and benefits are minimal, but the prices are like everywhere else…

So, as you might imagine, this post will be about one of our cancer “girls”. About Viktoria. My most recent post about her was during the summer.



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