At Ira’s

Ira was sad. And also very tired. The weariness was evident in everything–her walk, her smile. It seemed she had shrunk. So tiny, so fragile.
The door was opened by a funny zebra, Ira’s older daughter. The zebra was only missing a tail, but did have funny ears and a long mane hidden under the hood.
There was another little girl running around, very funny even though not a zebra.
The younger daughter.

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Their War

I must have started this post, erased it, and started over, at least ten times.
It’s hard to write things differently. So that people would notice and read.
It is…I don’t know…
These women are at war every day. Every day they are in their own trenches.
They fight, they struggle for every moment. With their kids, loved ones.
“Our girls”–that’s how Zhenya refers to them, irrespective of age.
Our girls have cancer. They live in Lugansk…They have their own war. They are at war…
We try to do everything we can in this situation. We try to help…
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Ira and Tanya

I really don’t like the word “wards”, but how else should one call the people we help?
There are many people whom we help constantly and since long ago. Among them are cancer sufferers. Those are the most difficult cases. Helping the doomed. The number of those who are already gone is unfortunately large. But in each case we keep faith and hope.
This is Ira and Tanya.
Both are fighting. And I have faith in them.
Ira is very young. She’s so beautiful, so bright, so kind…I recently wrote about her–she’s had major improvements, even could walk again. Without a walker or cane. But her temperature has increased again, and it turned out she’s suffering from a major relapse with metastasis. Again time for Chemo.
She needed a medication to increase hemoglobin. Thanks to those who sent money for Ira, and a separate thanks to my friend who helped find the preparation at a reasonable price.
Just look at this beauty! How can this be?

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When we were in Lugansk, I really wanted to visit our lovely Ira. Listen to her guitar and singing and have tea with her. She’s a person of rare kindness, and one always wants to be around her. She has cancer and, to be honest, when we thought of bringing her to Moscow, the doctors said she was in a bad shape. But Ira never lost hope. She smiled unforcedly, genuinely, sincerely. Such smiles are becoming ever more rare.
Back during the winter she was in bed, never got out, and she was given no chances of survival when she and her husband started treatment. We were not told what kind of treatment. The husband, who is an emergency care medic, helped her a lot.
And then she started to get better. In a big way. We and Zhenya even agreed not to write about it, only mention it obliquely. We were afraid to even speak about it.
After all, she didn’t simply start to get up. She blossomed, improved in every way.

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Ira is walking!

You do remember Ira?
The young girl who had ovarian cancer discovered during pregnancy?
After which she gave birth and her life went sideways?
She underwent several chemo treatments, then the cancer metastasized to her spine and she stopped getting up. Extreme back pain followed which immobilized her.
She lives with her mother, the daughters remained with her husband in their apartment. The mother is taking full care of her–feeds, washes, changes clothes…The daughters drop in every day after school. Or, rather, daughter. The younger is still very little.
We saw Ira and mom back in December, when she was bedridden. It was impossible to think of anything else.

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How do you like these news?

On September 29, DPR authorities issued a “temporary regulation” which basically makes private humanitarian operations impossible. The volunteer community is aghast. It was always difficult to bring anything in–crossing the border was always a major challenge. Now all the aid is to be monitored during the distribution as well. Which means that the authorities will be controlling every aspect of aid. Including where it comes from, where it’s going, and who is receiving it.
There are also bad news concerning the arrest of Aleksey Smirnov, the renowned humanitarian worker.
That put me in a pessimistic mood, to the point of having thoughts about letting the whole thing go.
But the universe sent me several signals. You read about one of them earlier, concerning the little Kolya.
Here’s a second one.
This is Ira from Lugansk, who has had a bout with cancer, and I’ve written about her before. She has two daughters and she needs medicine for treatment, but the family can’t afford them at all. Now Ira is in our care.

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Ira is quite young, she’s not yet 32 but she already has cancer. One, of course, could say it’s a disease that can be encountered everywhere. But I know very well the war has played its part here. Ira lives in LPR.
The terrible ailment was discovered during a c-section. Second-degree cancer of the ovaries. It was not detected earlier during the pregnancy. Anechka is now one year old, and the father is taking care of her. In addition to Anya, Ira also has the older daughter Nastya, who’s 9. The father is an ambulance paramedic, who spent the whole war going to and fro to save people.
Those who were in Lugansk during the slaughter of the summer of 2014, know what it was like…

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