Rodion is in Moscow!

Hurrah!
Rodion arrived in Moscow from Lugansk on April 15 in order to undergo a very complex and expensive operation–a cochlear implant.
Rodion is 2.5 years old and was born deaf. This is a costly procedure which entails implanting a hearing device. The sooner it’s done, the more likely the implant is to be accepted, and the boy regaining his hearing.
Thanks to our Irina Bednova, the boy will have this operation for free.
Unfortunately, for objective reasons, we were not able to admit him yesterday. Not all the analyses and mother’s information came in. We had to pay for some additional tests instead.


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“Where are we to run to?”

Ira was pregnant when Lugansk was being wiped out. She is from the long-suffering Vergunka which is still on the “separation” line. When she realized she can’t stay home, she took her daughter and went to Lugansk to “wait it out”. There was no place else to go.
It was too late to leave the region, the husband was nowhere to be seen–and still isn’t.
Ira says that she wrote to her daughter a couple of times through social media. That’s all.
Indeed, why bother? He’s got a new life, without children and destroyed homes, where fighting can start again at any moment.
Ira then went to Lugansk, and when she returned the home half-destroyed. The roof and walls collapsed, all windows were broken. The house itself was thoroughly looted, down to forks and rugs. .
Please forgive me this preamble–I wrote about this woman many times. But maybe she was forgotten, and others have not read about her. So one has to periodically remind. We met Ira by accident–we were bringing aid to the neighbors.
Since the we’ve been helping her too, though Ira herself never calls to say what her problems are. Thanks to you, we’ve managed to fix up the house, get a boiler, buy clothes, dishes, food, medications.
Ira’s situation remains hard–she’s alone with the children. Many health problems.
And most importantly, they are still shooting there. Their house is on the very edge of Ukrainian advance. No cellar.
Do you know what Vika, her daughter, said after one of the bombardments?
“Mom, relax. Where are we to run to? What happens, happens.”

We help every day

These are people under our constant care–there are two stories in this post.
Stories of those who suffer. Who can’t cope on their own.
In this blog, most stories are about people who can’t cope on their own…
Some chide me that there aren’t enough positive stories. What can one say? I agree. Not many positive stories because where things are going well, I and my team aren’t needed.
But the stories which you read are not the most tragic if only because they us.
And yes, we help every day, regardless of whether I write about it every day.
Behind each such post there is tremendous effort by many people.
Please read.
Our Natasha with epilepsy. The husband died in ’14. She had a swelling on her head, required trepanning. Now about a quarter of the head is covered with plastic. Two kids, destroyed home, disabled mother. It’s all on the shoulders of this one woman, sometimes one can’t believe such things are possible(((
We’ve been helping her fro a long time.
It’s difficult to find work with such diagnoses. People get fired after one epileptic fit. She didn’t have the before the war, but after…After, I think, there is no need to explain.
Natasha once again needs help with the treatment.


She now has a swelling on the lower jaw. Lymph nodes.
She got a prescription. We got her what she needed for one round of treatment, but she’ll need 14 more ((((
That’s simply unaffordable for Natasha.
If it weren’t for you, it’s hard to imagine what would have happened to her last year.


Medications are not extremely costly, but a large amount is needed constantly.
And yes, she also has a disabled mother and two kids to care for.
She turned 35 on March 21.
She was born the same year I was.
And I can’t simply imagine what it means to be in the midst of war, alone with children.
Without a husband and in such poor health.

Please label contributions for her “Natasha”.
She really needs our help now.
Everything goes for the medications.
But she also needs to eat, feed and clothe the children.

 


These are our sisters. Or, rather, it’s the older Marina with her mom after a stroke. The mother which abandoned them, forcing them to survive on their own. What a turn-about.
Things like that happen.
They happen because there are amazing people. And our sisters are the most amazing. I’m writing that such thing “happen”, but in reality there are few such people. I’ll be honest–I don’t know how I would have acted in her place. I fear I wouldn’t be as noble.

Our aid during the last four visits.


There are news about the mother. She can sit now. That’s only thanks to the girls who care for her.
Zhenya says that “the doctor who brought them in was surprised: ‘I wouldn’t have expected it’. She still has problems on the right side. Especially the hand. It’s swelling, there is no movement or sensitivity. There is sharp pain when they try to establish movement in the right shoulder joint”.


The girls live on Marina’s salary. Alyona goes to school.
The mother requires serious care.
That’s how things are.

Please label contributions for the girls “sisters”.

Friends, thank you for reading this, thank you for your help and caring!

If you want to help the people of the Donbass, please write me in person through LiveJournal, facebookV Kontakte, or email: littlehirosima@gmail.com. Paypal address: littlehirosima@gmail.com.

 

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Looked up word: Friends, thank you for reading this, thank you for your help and caring!

Larisa…

Dear Lord, I don’t know what to say.
My hands are dropping.
We visited Larisa, the mother, and Marina in Lugansk in the spring of 2017. Very pleasant, bright people with a hard fate. Marina was 13 then. I remember her modest but hard gaze: “I’m not afraid of anything, my father died in my arms.” Cancer…They know what war is. They had “incoming” during the entire summer and fall, when the father was dying…
Their life was difficult, we brought them a lot of food and clothing. The girls’ sight began to deteriorate, we helped buy glasses and carry out tests. They gave us tea and didn’t want to see us leave.
Larisa is a very attractive woman, modest and soft, she really wanted to repay us somehow.
And then…
We haven’t spoken to each other in a long time. It turns out they lost our phone. Lena happened to be driving by so dropped in to see how things were going…
And…she couldn’t recognize Larisa. The woman burned out in three months! Simply burned out.
Look at the photos.

Spring 2017


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We are a tank!

About four years ago I wrote in LiveJournal about collecting money to help the Donbass. I really didn’t want to do that–as soon as money is involved, people start talking about thieving. Over these four years, nearly every post from a vacation or following a purchase something, I read about how I steal from Donbass children. Incidentally, these accusations are posted by the same people who wish on these children. That’s how mixed up some people are.
Sometimes it was downright comical–I was accused of stealing in order to live in South Africa, where I did live long before the Maidan. I never answered these emanations in the comments, although, to be honest, it was very unpleasant to read them. Don’t write “forget about it”–know what that is. But one still cannot avoid unpleasant feelings.
I feel it is unnecessary to explain to people that I have a husband who has a decent salary and also supports the Donbass, it seems like making excuses. And explaining that I lose money due to my aid activities is pointless. I was more than once offered jobs which I had to turn down because I would not be able to continue this effort. So they’ve stopped. I can’t even go teach full time at a good university. I’m only an hourly instructor. And I love teaching.
My blog is visited every month by hundreds of thousands of people (not views, people). Hundreds of thousands! That’s nuts. And that’s for a blog on whose promotion I did not spend a single ruble and where I don’t even write every day. And, incidentally, the posts not about Donbass are far more popular than the posts about. Even considering that LiveJournal “is dying”, “is no longer the same”, I still have advertisers. I wrote about this many times, but no, not a single advertiser wants to have anything to do with politics, which is understandable. Especially with politics of someone whose name is on Ukraine’s Mirotvorets web site.

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About “Another” World

When I was a teen, I thought I’d become an actress. I used to visit a theater studio and saw myself garner applause and tons of flowers and presents. Then I started to study philosophy, thinking theater and movies won’t go anywhere. Did I ever think, even for a second, I’d be writing about people with development difficulties? That I will collect money for them and buy scissors, glue, and gouache? Not literally, of course, but figuratively.
Not for a second. Such people did not exist in my life and I knew nothing of them. Not because I did not want to know, but because it didn’t happen that way. My life flowed in a different direction.
The first meeting took place during the winter of ’15, when I stood in the Krasnodon children’s home with candy packets and, sweating, tried to sort them into caramel- and jam-filled ones. It turned out many could not be served hard candy because they’d choke. We were brought to a children’s home but were not told of what kind. I thought it’s simply an orphanage. I was taken into a room with “difficult cases”. A few kids were barking, some were rocking from side to side, several were oblivious to everything, only drooled and looked past us. There were also kids with physical impairments, not mental ones.
I was in shock. And all of that was happening against the backdrop of war and an unbelievable adrenaline rush from the trips to the Donbass.
After that I have seen many children and adults with impairments. This is a big part of life which we do not see and of which we know nothing.
That’s how things are.
I periodically write about a club for people like that in Lugansk. It’s called Okay. You probably remember it.


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Seryozha and Vika

Information noise is driving me nuts. Approval ratings, Zelenskiy, Timoshenko. As soon as you start reading the newsfeed you want to stop forever. But here is something addictive in this senseless staring at the screen.
I lost the thread of the present. Senses are coming and going, leaving me in a confused state. All these news in my feed are mixed with posts about people dying at the border, another shelling, and more civilian deaths on the Donbass. Schizophrenia
But let me instead tell you about our Seryozha and Vika.
Seryozha is doing fine. One day at a time, no changes.
After the summer heart attack, we’re glad to be able to say “no changes”.
The retirement home is warm but boring. We try to think up something, but it’s not working.
People need to live at home, after all.


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But there are things we can do!

And old friend of mine recently confessed that he unsubscribed from me and can’t read me anymore. But I want to defend myself!
This blog is not all that pessimistic. I would even say that from time to time it promotes optimism. I write about the difficult lives of people, and that can’t be avoided. But we and our friends do more than write about it. We do a lot to make things better. And succeed only because someone reads those posts.
I can brag about all the good things we’ve done over the last four years. But it would be more correct to say that it would be better if we did not have anything to write about, and those we write about were leading normal, happy lives. Children and parents were alive, houses were whole, and everyone was healthy. But I can’t change that. I can’t resurrect, make whole again. I can’t end the war. There are many things which are beyond my control.
But we can do some things!
For example, such minor things as help Elena Vladimirovna and her granddaughter Natasha fix heating pipes.
A seemingly small thing, but when the whole family is freezing, sleeps fully clothed, and never leaves that one room, it’s not a small thing. Which moreover is financially beyond the family’s means.

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We found medications!

Hurrah!
We were successful!!!Now I’ll tell you everything.
In December I wrote a post about little Karina from Lugansk who needs a monthly treatment with cerebrokurin, which can’t be obtained in LPR. The girl needs it to live, and if she doesn’t get it regularly, she might be developmentally delayed.
It costs a lot of money and is unavailable in the Republics. It’s not easy to find it in Russia either, and it costs much more there than in Ukraine.
But we collected the money and ordered it in Ukraine. For Karina’s family that’s an insurmountable expense.
And now it was delivered!!! We can now breath easy, after this difficult and risky undertaking.
I won’t tell you all the details, because even getting it through LPR checkpoints is not simple.
What we bought will suffice for a whole year!!!!

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Tanya’s War

Tanya died in Lugansk on February 5.
Did we know that would happen?
Yes, we did.
Tanya had the fourth stage of cancer, so everything pointed in that direction.
I often ask myself whether Lilya, Ira, Inna, Sofia, and other people under our care would have died if it weren’t for the war?
I don’t know.
At first glance, it would seem it wasn’t the war that killed them.
It was cancer.
A disease which cuts down people irrespective of where and how they live. Rich, beautiful, young, successful. Cancer doesn’t care. Scientists are looking for causes, they seem to have found something, there are various theories. But…nobody can say anything with confidence.
I first encountered that disease when I was 14, when a school friend got ill. I visited him for a year, every week, in the children’s ward on Kashirka. He had lung cancer and he should have died.
But he survived. In spite of it all.
I remember well the children in the hallway who would at some point disappear.
I was a child myself, and my mom at first would not allow me to go to the hospital, fearing for me. She was probably right. But I could not be stopped.
I I also remember my naive question asked of the small lovely girl with an IV: “why?” “for what?”
The people we cared for were killed by cancer.
The young Tanya was killed by cancer.
She left behind Maksim who now lives in an orphanage.
This is not combat. Not bombings, not wounds.
It’s a terrible disease which carried off this beautiful young girl with an IV whom I saw on the Kashirka.
It carried off many.
But you know what I know for certain?
I know that if it weren’t for the war, many of these people would have been able to obtain proper care in time. Get drugs, surgeries, accurate diagnoses. And some would have survived.
Many of them developed cancer as they sat in cellars and were afraid to go outside.
Many of them had cancer develop at a spectacular speed after what they lived through.
Yes, one can say that in some cases war was the catalyst.
Doctors in the cancer ward in Lugansk told us many times that now Lugansk is experiencing a cancer boom. Long lines which the surgeons can’t cope with. There was nothing like that before the war.
And yes, I think Tanya was killed by the war.
Please pray, those of you who are believers, for Tanya.

RIP

Tanya and her son in December. One of the last photos where she’s smiling.