Caritas-Kyiv completed its charitable project – assistance to needy children suffering from cancer

Sunday, 27 May 2012, 11:52
On the eve of the Feast of Ascension (24 May), the director of the Charitable Fund Caritas-Kyiv, Rev. Roman Syrotych, together with Rev. Roman Zholobchuk, a priest serving the UGCC community in Slavutych, visited the family of seven year old Viktoriya, who since age two has been undergoing treatment for cancer. The purpose of the visit was to present the family with funds gathered during the Easter Basket Drive to assist needy cancer children. According to Rev. Syrotych, the drive was carried out between March 1 and April 15, 2012 by Caritas of the Kyiv Archeparchy and the UGCC parishes in Kyiv.
On the eve of the Feast of Ascension (24 May), the director of the Charitable Fund Caritas-Kyiv, Rev. Roman Syrotych, together with Rev. Roman Zholobchuk, a priest serving the UGCC community in Slavutych, visited the family of seven year old Viktoriya, who since age two has been undergoing treatment for cancer.  The purpose of the visit was to present the family with funds gathered during the Easter Basket Drive to assist needy cancer children. According to Rev. Syrotych, the drive was carried out between March 1 and April 15, 2012 by Caritas of the Kyiv Archeparchy and the UGCC parishes in Kyiv. Caritas-Kyiv and Caritas-Ukraine pay special attention to children suffering from cancer and have on numerous occasions in the past conducted fund-raising efforts both in Ukraine and abroad, purchased medical equipment and medications in order to address these needs. Similarly, this drive also aimed at raising funds. However, in this case, it had an unusual twist.   Funds were not simply gathered; people could provide them by “buying” with a charitable donation an Easter Basket.  An Easter Basket is a basket filled with traditional Easter breakfast foods, such as paska [Ukrainian Easter bread], eggs, meat, cheese, horseradish, etc. which people take to church to be blessed on Easter Sunday.  These Easter baskets created under the stewardship of the skilled craftsmanship of Inna Bedrykivska were adorned and trimmed by children who are under the guardianship of Caritas-Kyiv -- namely, children who are homeless or come from impoverished families experiencing crisis or other serious difficulties.  Thereby, disadvantaged children wanted to help sick children.  “This  illustrates the great educational aspect of a good deed – not only should you be helped, but also you – the one in need – through your handiwork, your smile and kind words --   can also help others. This touches and fosters nurturance not only among adults but also among children -- they happily and eagerly wanted to work to expand the assistance,” emphasized Rev. Roman Syrotych, Caritas-Kyiv Director. Seven-year-old Viktoriya Kostiv, whose father is an Afghanistan veteran and whose mother is an elementary school teacher, was born in Slavutych.  At age two, Viktoriya was diagnosed with a malignant tumor on her left kidney.  Thus began a prolonged treatment in the Kyiv Oblast Cancer Dispensary, where the tomography constituted the fourth stage of cancer as well as metastasis of the lungs.  This was followed by 19 courses of chemotherapy, loss of hair, removal of the tumor and liver and other trials. Today, very notable improvement has is evident -- the young girl is active, her hair has grown back.  However, she continues to require medication and constant monitoring. In particular, very soon the family will accompany her to Moscow for testing.  This requires some 35,000 UAH (an extreme expense for a family who has long ago spent all their own resources and continues to face outstanding bills). This drive was initiated by Caritas-Kyiv together with UGCC Bishop Bohdan (Dziurakh), Patriarchal Curia Administration Director, and the Honored Lawyer of Ukraine, Volodymyr Bedrykivsky with his wife Inna.  All the materials for the baskets were supplied by Volodymyr and Inna Bedrykivsky.  Ms. Bedrykivsky also shared her expertise by conducting weekly workshops at Caritas on making these Easter Baskets. Thus, the couple emerged as the main philanthropists of this project. In all, some fifty Easter Baskets were made, reaping a total donation of 9,140 UAH for   Viktoriya Kostiv’s treatment. “Providing children with workshops on handicrafts, we hope to involve them in something beautiful and simultaneously to teach them how to share goodness and love with others,” summarized the philanthropist Inna Bedrykivska. “I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all who helped and continue to assist us in this difficult illness.  I would especially like to thank Caritas-Kyiv, which has continued to provide us with assistance (beginning in 2009 with medications).  My gratitude to Rev. Roman Syrotych, Caritas Director, and Rev. Roman Zholobchuk from Slavutych who supports us by his kind words and deeds, Volodymyr and Inna Bedrykivsky and all the people who donated funds for our child,” said Viktoriya’s tearful father, Vasyl Mykolayovych. “Group action can do very much good: we can feed the hungry,  quench the thirsty, visit the ill and  weak, ease the pain of the suffering – and even save lives by our sincere heart and hand which are put in the service of merciful acts,” concluded the Caritas-Kyiv Director, Rev. Roman Syrotych.  

UGCC Department of Information

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