Kids-of-Ukraine, Stories of Children with Cancer

Khrystyna, two years old

At the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion, Khrystyna was in a village in the Vinnytsia region, where she was born. In June, her mother noticed the girl became weak, stopped standing on her feet, and started losing her orientation in space.

They received a referral from the local doctor to the regional hospital, and from there, they were already referred to the oncology center in Kyiv (Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital). In Okhmatdyt, Khrystyna had an operation during which doctors removed part of the tumor. After that, she started her treatment, which included 12 cycles of chemotherapy.

In March, Khrystyna’s dad joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but in the summer, he returned home due to his daughter’s disease. Now he is looking after a seven-year-old daughter while Khrystyna is in Kyiv with her mother.

Khrystyna was very active before the disease. She enjoyed running and dancing (she was the star of her mother’s TikTok). After an operation, she is still recovering her mobility and coordination and is learning to do everything with her right hand (she is right-handed and used to do everything skillfully before the disease).

She misses her father, her older sister, and home.

Ilona, eight years old

Ilona’s mother said that this girl is not afraid of anything and wants everything at once. In May, the life of cheerful and energetic Ilona changed. She developed a headache and nausea, so the family took her to the local hospital in the Zhytomyr region.

Examination indicated a brain tumor. In a few days, Ilona and her mother were already in the Neurosurgery department of the Okhmatdyt Children’s hospital in Kyiv. There, the doctor successfully operated to remove the tumor. Ilona has been gradually recovering. She learned to walk again after surgery.

Today, the girl continues her treatment in the oncology department. She has already finished six cycles of chemotherapy. Ilona likes painting, so creative classes with the Foundation’s volunteers are a big joy for her.

Recently, Ilona had her eighth birthday. As a gift, she received felt-tip pens to paint even more. Ilona says that her big dream is to try ice skating one day and, of course, to recover.

Kyrylo, nine years old

Kyrylo has been fighting cancer for more than three years. During it, he had lung surgery and a leg amputation. But despite all of this, he remains active: he conquers the highest playground climbers, adores active games, and plays football.

Kyrylo is very clever and studies well. He quickly makes new friends and likes to travel. After years in the hospital, traveling makes him happy.

When the Russian full-scale invasion started, Kyrylo had to evacuate to Warsaw to continue his treatment. After finishing his chemotherapy, he has only follow-up examinations. Now he is preparing to get a prosthesis.

On his ninth birthday in May, he asked for sneakers to continue playing football. In Warsaw, he attends special football training. Kyrylo also says that he misses his hometown, Kyiv, a lot.

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