When we talk about the creation of the fund, it’s not all about the date of its registration. A fund is the logical ending or the beginning of hard work: supporting families with children who have oncological diseases and providing help to the Oncological Department of Dnepropetrovsk clinical hospital.
Those who organize the child’s oncological treatment get a lot of experience and personal relationships, know the best ways to get necessary medicines and learn to provide psychological and financial help to other people. It’s just the way the Bible says: “In order to get to the Kingdom of Heaven (where the child is now), you should always pray and give charity.”
Later on I started writing down the contact details of those children who needed help. At first I helped elderly children (as they have harder time to fight the disease) and those with lymphomas. I sent them money as a private person. I did everything on my own. Besides, I was very emotional and acted inconsistently.
Having seen calls for help on the “Donor” website and watching many children die, because they haven’t received the money in time, made me realize that more help is needed. At that time the choreography group “Valeria” was founded and I had no doubts that these people would help me.
On the 14th of February 2010, i.e. almost a year after my daughter passed away, we arranged the first fund-raising event for children undergoing oncological treatment in Dnepropetrovsk (all our children receive treatment there). The event was moderated by the current project manager of the fund Irina Lagutina. Olga Ivanovna Pastushok worked with the youth performance groups telling them how important it is to take part in the event.
Our fund-raising event finally took place. That day it was very cold and slippery and the public transportation was not running. Nevertheless, all the participants (approx. 50 people) and guests managed to come to the event.
Everybody on the stage wished the children who were ill a quick recovery. Here are some of the participants: Department of Culture, City Museum, Technical School of Agriculture, Technical School of Metallurgy, ZNU, School #20, Shool #10, performance group “Fantasy” (who did much more than just participate in the event), libraries, private individuals etc. All of them provided some financial support.
After the concert, all the participants lighted the candled and went out into the street to make the words “THERE IS HOPE!” out of candles on the ground.
There was also a photo exhibition of Sergey Buyna. The motto of the exhibition was the song “I will start again from the very beginning”.
The beginning of a new project was the beginning a new life. Igor Melnikov, the archpriest of the Holy Cross Church gave us a blessing.
During this event we managed to raise 5000 UAH, which were added to the money raised by volunteers from Dnepropetrovsk. All that money we spent on buying a few surgical beds for the children.
You are probably wondering why beds? What for? I will make my best to explain. Sometimes after the child has had a tumorous bone removed, he/she will have to spend more than half a year in bed. How much time do you think one can spend lying in bed without becoming a bedsore? This bedsore is extremely difficult to treat, especially after the child has had chemotherapy. The surgical bed may be raised vertically and sideways allowing the child to sit or recline without it being painful for him/her.
We were able to purchase three of those, each cost 12000 UAH. At last our city started paying attention to the problem of oncological diseases, their diagnostics, treatment and fundraising. I’m not saying that before that there were no charity funds at all, because I also received some support during the treatment of my daughter. It was just a new upswing. People started coming up to me saying: “Here, give the money to those who need it most” and I gave it to children from Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev, Zaporozje, Marganetsk who really needed help.
There were no Nikopolkids at that time. The government acted irresponsible: the officials often “forgot” to purchase medicines for chemotherapy, “forgot” to certify the medicines, “forgot” to import them and so on. The volunteers were constantly collecting money to buy medicines for children. That’s why, a year later we decided to conduct another charity event.
That year we already had quite a large team. Nikopol Pedagogical College started working with us. Its director Kramarenko Lubov Ivanovna and all the teaching staff took an active part in organizing the event and were always the first to help. We plan to create a volunteer center on the basis of the Pedagogical College to conduct our charity events.
We also kept in touch with the local government. By that time the city had a newly elected mayor. And again we managed to conduct a charity concert, but this time the hall was full of people. “Nikopol-Art” represented by Katja Andrus and Vladimir Zagranichnyj, organized and conducted a four-day exhibition and sales of the paintings, pictures and craftwork.
The local artists were glad to present their works of art at the charity fair. The charity organization Nikopol-Art managed to combine these two events together. What a pleasant surprise – Ruslan Tokar, the mayor of the city, visited the second charity concert. We have never seen anything like that before. He and his wife stayed through the whole event. And when it was over the first thing Ruslan Ivanovich said was: “There’s something we have to do about it. Would you be responsible for the organization of the fund? I will support you.” This is how the idea of providing constant help to children was born. And that’s how it is now.