Last month I was fortunate enough to visit Oncological centers in local and city hospitals in Ukraine. My short visits left me with newfound knowledge about the circumstances under which patients are treated and the environment the staff works in. The recent conflict in Ukraine took a toll on people and institutions alike. In a country with an overall poor economy and the lack of insured health care, it is extremely difficult for people to receive the proper medical approach. In addition, because financing is so limited, there is a trade off when it comes to funding medical treatment and funding the medical facilities for supplies, cleanliness and technology. Ukraine’s massive crisis caused hundreds of people to be in need of immediate medical attention. However the lack of space, manpower, and medical supplies forced many of these people to be treated within the walls of Churches and other institutions. For about a month my team was unsure if we should or even could take on a project of a magnitude that extends past the borders of our nation. But recently everything changed.
During my visit, I developed a close relationship with a family in Kiev. A young eighteen-year-old teen, Vadim, touched my heart in ways unimaginable. Aside from being humorous, Vadim has a wealthy childhood of hobbies including wrestling and soccer. He pursued kickboxing and went on to win the regional championships. His spirits were up despite the fact that he has been in the hospital for countless months, unable to leave or see others without wearing a mask. Vadim has been fighting Burkitt’s Lymphoma since March 1st of last year. Although he is lucky enough to be in a prominent Ukrainian hospital, Vadim and his family are still constrained by the lack of health insurance in Ukraine. Most of his medical expenses are out of pocket and grants towards medicine are not always readily available. Last year Vadim and his family reached out to a national news organization that ran a short story on him and asked for donations. They were only able to raise around five thousand dollars. When the crisis began in Ukraine, Vadim and his family suffered the consequences almost immediately. Chemotherapy imports are shortened and consequently more expensive. Governmental grants towards medicine are no longer existent until further notice, and salaries are not being paid on time. Vadim’s family can hardly afford his treatment any longer.
Vadim isn’t the only one who felt the magnitude of Ukraine’s turmoil. Hundred’s of people are injured and being cared for outside of medical facilities in places such as schools and Churches. Presumably, any institutions except hospitals lack the supplies needed to efficiently take care of the wounded people. We can’t help everyone, but we will take our best shot at it. We want to help Vadim receive the proper treatment when he needs it. On the sideline, we are reaching out to organizations that may be willing to bring Vadim to the States so that he receives the treatment he needs. If you or anyone you know is affiliated with organizations that work on such projects, PLEASE reach out to me. Collectively, I believe that we can efficiently raise more money than what his family raised through a NATIONWIDE broadcast in almost years time. Although we are currently a small organization ... we have a big mission and it is in our hands to help people that are in need, whether they are within or beyond our borders. We will be updating you, our supporters, every step of the way.
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