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BRAMA, September 21, 2000, 8:00pm EDT

The "Gift of Life" for Children in Ukraine

The Ukrainian Gift of Life Committee of Rotary District 7250 is very pleased to announce that in the month of September, 2000 the following children from Ukraine have undergone successful open heart surgeries:

14 yr old Dmytro Fillipchuk at Deborah Hospital, NJ
12 yr old Evhenia Uss at Montefiore Hospital, NY
6 yr old Anastasia Drobot at St Francis Hospital, NY

All three are from Kryviy Rih, Ukraine.

In addition, the following children received open heart surgery in our program launched in Kyiv, Ukraine, at the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine Institute of Cardio-Vascular Surgery:

3 yr old Bohdan Shevchenko - Sumska Region
8 yr old Yevhenia Zyronova - Sumska Region
5 yr old Ruslan Halameya - Sumska Region
7 yr old Olena Zosym - Sumska Region
7 yr old Maxym Isaev - Sumska Region
1 yr old Nadia Petryk - Volynska Region
14 yr old Leonid Brazgko - Mykoliv Region

We are happy to report that all seven patients were released with total health restored! 10 childrens surgeries were completed this month, and an additional 18 children are scheduled for treatment, hopefully by the end of September.

The year 2000 has been a good one for children from Ukraine. Our new team in Chicago has been especially supportive for the following cases: Anna Savchuk, Antonia Brus and Olga Volkova went home with a repaired heart, with 6 yr old Ruslan Lesniyj from Ternopil expected to return by the end of November.

10 yr old Ivan Petryk from Chernivtsi was given the support of a new group in Syracuse, NY and Denis Baistruchenko from Chernivitsi, age 12 recently went home with help from our supporters in Yonkers, NY.

New Jersey volunteers just sent Olexiy Kovaliov from Kryvij Rih, age 9 back home after successful surgery. Another young candidate in need of medical treament is expected in NJ again soon.

In May of this year, we also completed the following surgeries in Kyiv:

14 yr old Volodymyr Demyshyn -Vynnitsia
15 yr old Olesya Ripka - Chernivtsi
9 yr old Dmytro Belych - Kirovgrad
2 yr old Grygir Zgrevetz - Kirovgrad
12 yr old Olena Roslyak - Mykolaiv
14 yr old Viacheslav Pueriy - Vynnitsia
6 yr old Tetyana Glubenko - Odessa
13 yr old Vasyl Matadgyk - Verkhovyna
7 month old Iryna Hlystun - Kirovgrad
4 yr old Vasyl Bukharin - Zakarpatya
4 yr old Tetyana Rekalo - Chernihiv
11 yr old Ivan Dychka - Dolynsky
11 yr old Inna Yasen - Zdolbunivsky
4 yr old Ruslan Bereza - Kirovgrad
14 yr old Mykola Kazmirchuk - Vinnitsia
3 yr old Victoria Goncharenko - Kyiv
4 yr old Viacheslav Vilhovetsky - Kirovgrad
1 yr old Volodymyr Levytsky - Ternopil
13 yr old Maksym Malofij - Chernivtsi
15 yr old Andrij Mometko - Chernivtsi
11 month old Olexandra Pylypenko - Cherkasy
1 yr old Maryana Marchuk - Ternopil
4 yr old Nazariy Karpenko - Kyiv
5 month old Diana Buryak - Kolomeya
4 month old Ihor Demesuk - Ternopil

Altogether, 60 operations have been completed, and 20 more are currently scheduled. As extensively as we've increased the aid benefits to these needy children in Ukraine, we must also expand our fund raising efforts in order to cover the costs. This is the first time Gift of Life is approaching Ukrainian media companies to help us save more children.

In addition to a few local fund-raisers that were held on Long Island, two organizations have stood firm in helping with costs. These are Rotary District 7250, Long Island, NY, where the Gift of Life program was founded 25 years ago, and The Ukrainian American Freedom Foundation and its volunteers in New York and New Jersey who have been paying most of the operational expenses and costs of travel for these children.

Many volunteers have come to work with us in all areas, and we are grateful for their very important contribution to this effort. However, more volunteers are needed to provide transportation, translation (Ukrainian and Russian), as well as hosting for the children and family members in their homes.

Gift of Life is determined to provide the necessary medical treament for 100 children this year, and we have plans for at least 200 children for next year. The continued growth of financial support and volunteers from our Ukrainian Community is essential in order to reach our goals.

This just in ...
Shortly after this press release was issued, we received word that 12 of the "pending" children awaiting surgery in Kyiv have been listed as "successful surgeries." This brings the year to date total to 72 children!

If you wish to join forces with Gift of Life, whether to volunteer your time or to contribute funding, please contact us:

Gift of Life, Inc. - Ukrainian Committee
PO Box 595
Valley Stream, NY 11580
516 561-5311

Gift of Life, Inc. is an Official Project Chartered by Rotary International, District 7250, since 1975.

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