A good thing of caring volunteers
A good thing is born even in hopelessness, especially when there are those ready to protect this hope and fight for it! Illness, like war, comes unexpectedly, and it is impossible to be ready for it. It destroys the life we are used to and is eager to take the most precious things away from us.
Nikita’s family moved to the Poltava region from the Luhansk region, fleeing the war in eastern Ukraine. Now they wage their own war with a serious illness that has stricken the boy… However, they are not alone: they have a whole front of caring volunteers who are helping him fight the disease!
“This is our Nikita, a real hero who has courage to fight this disease,” Ms. Yulia says, a volunteer helping the boy. “We are his loyal home front, and we are happy that there are so many people who are ready to help the boy with good things!”
“The disease does not wait until the war is over…”
Five years ago, the family settled in a small village in the Myrhorod region, Ukraine, after their house in the Luhansk region had been bombed. Nikita went to school, played sports, and had the normal life of a teenager. But then a terrible diagnosis ruined everything in one moment…
The 18-year-old boy was diagnosed with a rare tumor in his spine.
“Nikita’s family lived not far from my parents, and they helped the boy, so I took care of him as well,” Yulia Petrivna says. “Urgent surgery was needed: the tumor in the boy’s spine weighed more than two kilograms and was growing rapidly, it was a matter of hours, not weeks or days. The disease does not know that the war is going on and does not wait until it’s over.
Nikita had the surgery in Kyiv, Ukraine, at the Institute of Neurosurgery named after A.P. Romodanov, and many volunteers and specialists both in Ukraine and abroad took part in rescuing the boy. Caring benefactors from Germany provided funds for the expensive surgery, since the boy’s family was penniless. Then there was more hospital treatment again, including radiotherapy; Nikita, exhausted by complex surgery and chemotherapy, had a long way of rehabilitation and recovery ahead…”
“But neither exhausting treatment nor poor health can ruin his belief in the many good people and good things that wait for him on the way to recovery! Together with theUnity University Volunteer Unit (Yulia Petrivna is teaching at the Poltava State Medical University, Ukraine), we are trying to help Nikita with clothes, shoes, necessary medicine and good food, since his parents do not have money for his treatment and support. We are grateful to Goodacity for help with supplies and a rehab exercise bike from Utah benefactors. It is not just a new hope for a guy whose whole world became limited by the four walls of his room, but a giant step towards getting back on his feet!”
“When Nikita sat down on the exercise bike, I saw light in his eyes for the first time in a long time! Good emotions heal! I really wanted him to work out, not lose faith and not give up.
It was incredible that people from different parts of Ukraine and the world joined forces to help the boy! If we are united, no one can overcome us, neither the enemy nor the disease!”
“Being a doctor is always about volunteering”
“My students were happy to find out that a microgrant from Goodacity would give them a chance to help Nikita even more,” Yulia Petrivna says. “And I was happy that they cared and got involved in good things!”
“Since the beginning of the war in the east of Ukraine in 2014, our students and I have taken up helping the front and our military, and now we also make trench candles and knit camouflage nets together. When the full-scale Russian invasion started, many people from other regions came to us, to Poltava, and we immediately began helping them because we simply could not do it any other way.”
“The students I work with, our youth, they are future doctors, and I am so pleased that they are involved in volunteering and good things on their own accord, on their own initiative, from the first year of studying. We already have a whole youth volunteer movement at the Poltava State Medical University. Since our students will be doctors in the future, we started working with children with cancer, and joined donor programs: many students gave blood and would do it again, and they also signed up on the bone marrow donor registry. We held celebrations and entertaining events for young patients of the oncology and hematology department in order to support the children who fight these non-childish diseases every day. We want children and their parents in those difficult situations to know that there are many good people in the world. This will make their life brighter and more interesting. We also had an exciting entertainment project for children with ASD and Down syndrome.
We were constantly helping others, eventually volunteering became an organic and integral part of our lives. Full-scale war has changed our work but not our main purpose, and we continue to help those in need, except now it is to help during the war.”
“I tell my students that being a doctor is always about volunteering. After all, a doctor should always be ready to help others. It’s nice to see how volunteering ignites them because it means that a generation of specialists who know compassion, empathy, and help, is growing.”
“Volunteering should not be an obligation; people should be happy about what they do and give. If they are happy, they will be able to pass this feeling onto others. There should be that light passed on to those who are undergoing treatment.”
“We believe in good, and its victory on all fronts! I am certain that Nikita will be the winner in his war with the disease!”