Maksym is a 9th grade student. Like most guys of this age, Maks loves computer games and always keeps up with the news in the electronic world. The guy loves life and he tries to show us the beauty of life in the videos on his own YouTube channel. Unfortunately, there are less and less videos on his page now… After all, when you are tied to a dropper, it is difficult to find something interesting on the hospital walls. And his life is cut in half – by a terrible disease called cancer.
253 547 026 UAH
CF "Zaporuka"03022, Київ, вул. Васильківська, 30
Zaporuka Foundation has been supporting since 2008 families of children with cancer hospitalized at the National Institute of Cancer, at the Pediatric Department of the Romodanov Institute of Neurosurgery and at the Department of Hematology and Intensive Chemotherapy of the Western Ukrainian Pediatric Specialized Medical Center in Lviv. Zaporuka has organized and continue funding psychological service for the patients of these hospitals as well as rehabilitation service and has opened the Center Dacha providing accommodation for children affected by cancer.
Nazarii played football and won. He was dreaming of a professional career but suddenly he got a red card from life. There was a pain in the leg and ointments that did not help. And one day a visit to an orthopedist who suspected: could it be oncology? Unfortunately, at the Cancer Institute, the diagnosis was confirmed. Nazarii has the second stage of the disease, without metastases. The surgeons suggest replacing the affected bone with a donor one. Such amputation-rescuing operations are now performed successfully at the Cancer Institute. What is also important is that, unlike the prosthesis, such bones engraft and grow with the child's body.
Vasia is 11 years old, and his dream is not a new smartphone but a pair of sneakers. Yes, just ordinary sneakers instead of orthopedic shoes that make his feet bleed. The difference between Vasia’s legs is almost 11 centimeters. That’s how much the guy "outgrew" a domestically produced endoprosthesis that he was installed in 2014. During this time, Vasia had a lot to go through: the first treatment at the Pediatric Department of the National Cancer Institute, going back to the hospital with a recurrence, surgeries for the removal of lung metastases, treatment in Poland, extension of the prosthesis. All this has produced results: oncology is defeated.
Cancer is a curable disease but the psychological state of children and their family members is of great importance for their recovery. A disease associated with prolonged treatment disrupts family life, requires changes in family roles and relationships, causes financial problems, destroys dreams and plans for the future. Often the label of an ill person frightens and distances relatives and friends. Parents feel confused, guilty and shameful. They blame for what has happened themselves and each other.
It is important for everyone to feel safe, to be able to hug their parents. Especially for children affected by cancer. They get this opportunity at the only center in Ukraine which is called Dacha. This is a unique center where children from all over Ukraine who had cancer or undergo treatment at the Cancer Institute are recovering and living with their families for free. And during the time of Dacha project implementation, we provided over 1 000 children with accommodation.
Aliona was born prematurely and couldn’t breathe on her own. Seven days on medical ventilator, brain hemorrhage, pneumonia, sepsis – and this is just a part of everything Aliona has had to endure since the first days of her life. But the doctors did not give up, and now the girl is at the Institute of Neurosurgery waiting for a surgery which should be the final stage of treatment. But the single mom has no way of providing everything she needs for her baby.
Bohdan is the youngest kid in a large family, has three older sisters. Although being the youngest, in his short life he had to pass a courage test. The serious disease doesn’t allow him to live an ordinary children’s life for two years: riding a bicycle or playing outdoor games. Instead of leisure time activities he has hospital, injections, surgery, severe complications of neuroblastoma therapy. During this time, little Bohdan grew up a lot. And he knows what the cost of life is. His life that is now on standby.
Last September, thanks to kind-hearted people, Roma could go to the clinic for rehabilitation. And in October the boy made his first independent steps – without support! Then he received more medication and, of course, did everyday exercises with his parents. However, now it is not enough: the boy’s hand and leg are still not working well. One more rehabilitation cycle is needed at the clinic under the supervision of professionals but the parents are not able to pay for it.
On the way to school, Ksenia always stopped with cats, dogs, and especially she loved watching birds. She could walk for hours in the park next to the bird flocks. At home, she had a parrot that became her true friend. But in June Ksenia’s life changed dramatically: leg pain, examinations, CANCER. Now the girl watches the birds from the hospital window and draws her beloved parrot with pencils. Meanwhile, the doctors are trying to save her leg.
Vania has been keen on playing computer games for a long time. Virtual games help the boy to distract from painful procedures that he has to go through every day to defeat the disease. Last year, Ivan’s life changed abruptly when he received a dreadful cancer diagnosis from the doctors as a sentence. The boy had to leave his classmates, his studies, his younger siblings and to start not a virtual fight for life. If a hero has more than one life in the digital world, in the real world it is more difficult – it’s now or never.