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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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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There are 68 Vika-tagged posts on my blog. I wrote about the girl named Vika almost seventy times. I reminded everyone every time that the young beauty lives in Lugansk. That she has diabetes. The she lost her sight. Suffered from TB. Lost a brother. Had a kidney fail. And it seems it’s becoming more difficult for me to write about this girl.
Not because I have been repeating this 68 times. But because Vika herself reads these posts.
Vika has a computer for the blind which we and you managed to organize for her. Before, these posts were read for her by her mother. Not only posts about them–they read nearly everything I write. But before the mother could skip certain parts. Now Vika can read it all herself. She often writes replies, in person, sending smileys and always trying to make me smile and think everything is fine.
And it is difficult for me to remind her of the situation in which she found herself.
I would much prefer to write joyful stories, but when it comes to Vika these stories are always different. It’s a difficult situation. Sveta and Vika would really struggle without your help. So much so that I don’t even know how retell the same story every time.
To read all the posts about Vika, click on the “Vika” tag at the bottom of this post.
This time, I want to write about Sergey from Belgorod. Every six months, like clockwork, he sends “talking” test strips for a special glucose-meter which he bought several years ago specially for Vika.

An “Incorrect” Diabetic

You know how I became acquainted with Vika? Four and a half years ago, a pale as a sheet woman came to the distribution of test strips which we brought as part of our humanitarian aid to LPR. The distribution took place in a diabetics’ society in Lugansk in the spring of 2015 in a yard of a multi-story apartment building in that city. The woman was Sveta, who buried her son only a day earlier. She stood there lifeless, literally a mannequin, and mechanically signed receipts for test strips for her daughter.
For Vika. Who was at home in bed. What’s there to add? Perhaps that Lugansk was not being bombed. Thank God for that.
You’ve been reading about Vika for over 4 years. 4.5 years of struggle for life unfold on the pages of this blog.
Diabetes, brother’s death, blindness. TB, gynecology, thyroid. A kidney failed this spring. Second one also shows problems.
The girl lives in Lugansk, where the health care capabilities are, shall we say…limited.
Minimal salaries, too, but at least they do exist. In ’14 and ’15, even that did not exist. Or medications, for that matter. There was nothing at all. People quietly died in their homes simply due to lack of needed preparations and injections.


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No right to make a mistake

Friends, thank you for Vika.
We’ve been saving her together for four years.
Vika and her mom are like in a game of Tetris, where blocks are falling from above and one must run, turn, get away from the falling constructs.
And, unfortunately, they only get faster.
One would think that our lovely girl’s cheeks have become rounder, a smile never leaves her face…But problems keep appearing.
That’s the price of a mistake for a diabetic.
Therefore there is no right to make mistakes.
This illness’ retribution is swift and severe.

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Now the kidneys

I’m posting an endless quantity of photos of Vika where she’s smiling.
She does, in fact, smile. Every time we brought aid, she’s joyful. Sincerely, earnestly. This is not a forced smile in front of a camera. She’s genuinely happy. Because of the aid, of us, and of your constant attention…
But I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know how to grab the tail of the nightmare which is following this girl.
We met on May of ’16 in Lugansk when she was on the brink of death. Unfortunately, that’s no figure of speech. She started to lose eyesight, two of her front teeth fell out, her thyroid gland was out of control and, most awfully–she lost the will to live. We’ve been fighting for Vika ever since.
We took her to Moscow. Her lungs were operated on since it turned out she had TB. Bought a huge amount of expensive meds. Her eyes and gynecology were also operated on. Constant hospitalizations. In the end she lost her sight and her health continue to crumble. We buy her all the medications she needs. We also get her food, insulin, test strips. But it doesn’t help! Vika has diabetes and, let me tell you, it’s a terrible illness. I can’t even guess the extent. It does not forgive mistakes. You simply have no right to make mistakes, and your whole life becomes a struggle for it. Diabetes did not forgive Vika that spring when she did not eat and simply lay in bed. It did not forgive those few weeks when her brother died, when she did not want to live. When she stopped eating. Terrible processes got underway which we are trying to arrest. But we are not succeeding.
We’re not giving up, we’re fighting. But I don’t know. That’s the truth.
The previous post was about how Vika had an emergency hospitalization due to a burst ovary cyst. It was operated on.
And now I’m writing about Vika’s kidneys failing. Her mom is in panic. One kidney already failed, the second one is in bad shape.
Together with Sasha Shaskova we ran all over Moscow to get the needed medications which can’t be obtained in LPR. She needs to take them for several days (shown on the last photo).
But Vika continues to smile on all the photos. Our Bellflower. Our very own Bellflower.
Beautiful, young, joyful.
How the hell is one to write about it?
What is there to say?

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Vika in hospital

Vika had an emergency hospitalization.
Her ovary ruptured.
I have many questions toward the doctors, since Vika was just recently on a scheduled stay and was evaluated by specialists, including gynecologists, who have her “all clear.”
Now all’s well again, and only because Sveta, Vika’s mom, called emergency services.
Thank God.
Given Vika’s range of ailments, combined with the blindness, it’s not good news.

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Our Bellflower

I was recently asked “How’s our Bellflower?” The “Bellflower” is the name we gave Vika several years ago in reaction to her infectious laughter. May will see the fourth anniversary of us helping this girl from Lugansk.
We met in May ’15. Shortly after her brother’s death, who also had diabetes. It’s been a lifetime since the. During that “lifetime” we have done a lot, but at the same time very little.
We tried to save her eyesight, but couldn’t.
But we did cure her of TB. We did a lot, but also lost a lot, together with Vika.
It’s difficult to write every subsequent Vika post. Because ever time I’m being read by new people, while Vika’s story is a whole big book. A story of one girl, a beautiful girl suffering from diabetes, who lost everything, first and foremost eyesight, due to the war…
Vika’s story is indicative in many ways. One has to understand that the war kills and crushes the most vulnerable. Not only with shells. Sometimes with far more elementary means–wrong insulin, lack of test strips, poor nutrition…
To read more about Vika, click on the “Vika” tag at the bottom of this post.
And yes, it’s also a story about people who care, people who are responsive, people who love. Vika has received help from all over the world–UK, Germany, USA, etc.
So, how is our Bellflower doing?

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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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Various News

We have news.
I tried to find the right words for this, but couldn’t think anything other than “various”.
Various news.
Tanya is leaving. Tanya, whom we have been helping for several years. Cancer, fourth stage.
The young son is still in an orphanage, the mother can’t do anything anymore. Endless operations, chemos, more chemos.
Now she’s home.
She has more pain, fever has been constant for a while, she’s more frequently unconscious. Our friends managed to obtain an effective painkiller for cancer patients. They make her sleep all the time. She only has days left. Perhaps hours.
A priest was summoned recently.
And we also found a caregiver for her.
It’s our blind Vika’s mom, Sveta.
Sveta spent many years caring for her mother. When we met in the spring of ’15 in Lugansk, in addition to the dead son, ill and blind Vika, she was taking care of her bed-ridden mother. Vika’s grandmother and Sveta’s mom died when the two were in the TB clinic in Moscow. Now Sveta helps us with Tanya.
That’s how things are.

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