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TO LIVE TOMORROW – dreams come true

December 5, 2008, 10:00 4183 Author: Irina Gavrisheva, translated by Antonina Stavitskaya www.deti.zp.ua «To live tomorrow» - in such way we called a holiday for our kids who have finished their intensive part of treatment. They have experienced the most difficult part of their lives! So a simple children’s holiday, meeting the old friends outside the hospital is the best award for our “fighters”!

«To live tomorrow» is a simple dream of the kids and parents at the oncologic departments. They need the only thing. They want the next day to come. Only this dream supports them at difficult times. It is so pleasant to realize one day that the most complicated fight – intensive care – is over! It is pleasant to understand that the months of exhausting chemotherapy passed. Day after day one comes closer and closer to the victory over the disease.

«To live tomorrow» - this is the name of the holiday which has been organized by the staff of the “Happy Child” fund for the kids who have undergone an intensive part of medication. Certainly none of these kids have not stepped over the 5-year-old period since treatment termination hence, one cannot say that they are healthy. However, they have overcome the most difficult period! So a simple children’s holiday, meeting the old friends outside the hospital is the best award for our “fighters”!

It was decided to time a press-conference to the holiday.

We had several aims: to remind of us and our kids once again, to tell what can be achieved if we do not turn our backs on the problems of these kids. Besides, of course, we wanted both the journalist and those people who had been helping our kids to see smiling faces and the results of their hard work. We couldn’t help telling again of an 11-year-old Vladik Tihonov who would never come to the similar holiday if we don’t collect money for the saving bone marrow transplantation in Israel.

Besides the journalists we have invited our loyal comrades to the press-conference (I can’t name these wonderful people as “sponsors”). We wanted them to see our kids (they used to see only their photos at the web-site). We wanted the kids’ parents to see those people who supported their children at the difficult times. Besides, we just wanted to thank these people in public for the things they do for our kids.

Artur Kerobyan, brand-manager of drugstore markets chain “Elitefarm” with his commendation

I came into the hall where 15 ordinary children were sitting. Such kids can be noticed at every children’s party. They came to me saying “hello” and I couldn’t recognize them! I managed to recognize some of them only according to theirs voices or their mothers! They have changed indeed! They have grown up and become adult!!!

A merry holiday has begun. Contests, different performances, contests again… kids were running back and forward and laughed… it was impossible to imagine that recently their lives had hanged at the balance.

However, two years ago Dima Lutsenko (the fourth from left to right at photo) underwent leukaemia treatment and late relapse. He was suffering from hepatitis. Now he is behaving as a common teen at the children’s party. He is leading a usual life. He goes to school and plays with his friends in the yard.


Igor Podgorniy suffered from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Only a year ago an amount of UAH 22,000 was collected in a frantic rush for three days. Now he studies in a high school. Today he is participating indulgently in different children’s contests :).

Sasha Miruta suffered from brain tumor had to be operated urgently in Moscow. Today NOTHING gives away his serious diagnosis. He goes to school and leads his children’s life.

Andrey Zubenko has had an awful diagnosis “sarcoma”, overcome surgeries, chemotherapies and held out against the disease. Now it is a charming boy with a penetrating glace and wonderful smile.

I was watching these kids running and recalled those intense days and weeks carried out in praying for them. I remembered constrained voices of their mothers when talking by phone and my heart missed a beat…

I remember how Andrey Fenogenov’s analyses were really bad and every day looked like a fight! His wonderful mum and I used to count every new thrombocyte. Now Andrey is running, jumping and laughing. He studies though at home.

I recalled Zahar Balym and his quiet family. It has been always hard to worry about this family as these modest people had never complained about their problems. Now Zahar is still thoughtful and quiet. He talks not about himself but about his little brother.

I recalled Alina Dryzhd who had a relapse in front of our eyes. We started helping this girl at hepatitis treatment when she had a remission. Suddenly, there a relapse of leukaemia started! I recalled her tears. There were tears of children’s weakness. I recalled dozen of the situations when Alina suffered awful moments and this girl always answered «of course, it is hard but we will overcome these problems». Now Alina is graduating from school and dreaming of a school-leaving party. She dreams of a real dress, beautiful hairstyle and dawn!

If I didn’t see a scar on the head I wouldn’t believe in an awful diagnosis of Vladik Pavlenko – brain tumor. We were looking for Temozolomide which was not distributed in Ukraine. Now Vladik can’t stop smiling. He is showing prizes to his mother which he won participating in the contests. He is not giving them away but holding in his arms :)

I recalled a funny story of Bogdan Popov. He has an oddity concerning daggers and swords. Everyone who visited him was asked to buy him a sword. He spent months of difficult treatment in Kiev… Now Bogdan seems to be so healthy.

I think the mothers recalled all these things as I did. They looked at their laughing kids and laughed as well

Dima Lutsenko’s and Alyona Shulgina’s mothers

and even cried

Natasha Podgornaya

When the performances and contests came to the end the kids could enjoy a sweet buffet.

Saying goodbye every family came to us and thanked for the wonderful holiday, great and happy occasion to gather together, for joy given to their kids. We felt so good because of all those simple, uncomplicated words. These words helped them to express their gratitude to those who used to help their kids while treatment and still do not forget about them after the medication. So we convinced once again that the idea to gather all our friends was really good. Both they and we need it. It is not a secret that not all the kids can be saved. Hence, it is so important to see that your efforts brought real results like these happy faces!

I want to thank again and again everyone who helped to make this holiday a reality! We want to thank all the performers, and Olga who decorated the hall, for the cakes and funny contests; journalist who used to do a lot and are still doing in order to help our little children; our comrades who shared our joy; regional youth centre which provided us with the room. Especially we are grateful to our nice kids and their wonderful parents! It was really important for us to see them. Now we are sure that such holidays can become a good tradition. Later in several years we will be able not to say - «kids who have undergone the treatment» but the kids «who have overcome cancer»!!!

Irina Gavrisheva, tel.: + 3 8 097 136 41 82

p.s.: video of the holiday at "Alex" Channel click here

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