Liza & Nastya

Age: 7
From: Moscow Region
Diagnosis: cerebral palsy
Fundraising goal:  $3,700 

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Liza and Nastya Kochneva
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Rehabilitation therapy at the Academy of Health Center (in Elektrostal, Moscow Region) 
Liza and Nastya Kochneva are twins, the only children in the family. The girls already go to school and have completed grade 1 of public school this year. Despite the fact that Liza and Nastya are twins, they are two completely different people, with very different personalities and hobbies.

Liza is just a fountain of positive energy! She is very outgoing and loves to laugh, and will always find something to talk to you about. However, even though she seems so easygoing and careless, Liza is very responsible: she always does her homework, and her notebooks are always very tidy and neat.

Nastya, unlike her sister, is very serious and level-headed. She loves chemistry; together with her mother, they often conduct chemical experiments in their kitchen, using sugar, baking soda, milk, and honey. At the same time, also unlike her sister, Nastya can sometimes forget to do her homework because she was too busy reading an encyclopedia about outer space or too engrossed in a Harry Potter movie.

The two girls have another thing in common – not only are they twins, but they also have the same diagnosis – CP. Their mother, Natalia, does everything in her power to make sure Liza and Nastya live a full and happy life. Her efforts are not in vain – the girls are doing well in school. However, in order for them to be able to continue to attend classes, they need special therapy. And only our joint efforts can help these wonderful girls. After all, helping is so easy!

Lera

Age: 6
From: Natalyino Village, Nizhny Novgorod Region
Diagnosis: CP (spastic diplegia)
Fundraising goal:  $2,520 

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Lera Shtyreva
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Rehabilitation therapy at Sakura Medical Center  
Lera was born severely premature; her lungs hadn't formed yet, and the doctors had to place her on a mechanical ventilator. At one, Lera was diagnosed with CP.

More than five years have passed, and looking at this smiling girl today, you wouldn’t believe how many difficulties she has had to face. Despite all the challenges, Lera is a very cheerful and outgoing child who enjoys playing with others. Lera even attends a regular childcare center, but only for a half day: she gets tired fast, so her parents don't leave her there for a full day yet.

Thanks to continuous rehabilitation therapy, Lera can now walk for short distances - she can walk about 200 yards on her own. Lera refuses to sit down in a wheelchair, so she usually walks with her mother for support. The main problem right now is that as she grows, Lera's gait changes and the results of rehabilitation therapy gradually diminish. Lera needs not only to reinforce them constantly, but also to reach new results every day.

Even with a busy therapy schedule, Lera still has time to study. She is currently learning to read, and she especially enjoys Mikhail Prishvin’s short stories about animals and nature.

Lera really needs another course of rehabilitation therapy. She continues to grow and needs to exercise her muscles constantly. Her parents have already spent all their savings on previous courses, which is why right now they need our help.

Dima

Age: 4
Diagnosis: CP, spastic paraparesis of the lower limbs, delayed speech and mental development
Fundraising goal:  $2,520 

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Dima Korshunov
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Rehabilitation therapy at Cortex Medical Center  
Dima was born right before the New Year, on December 29. To be honest, his parents weren't expecting him so early - there were still 7 weeks to go until the due date. Dima was born very weak, and the doctors almost immediately put him on an artificial lung. The baby's condition was so severe that the doctors doubted he'd ever be able to hold his head up.

Dima did learn to hold his head up, though. And not only that - he learned to sit up, smile, stand, and walk. Dima is also good at understanding speech when he is spoken to, and is capable of following simple directions. All of that became possible thanks to daily sessions with physical therapists, massage therapists, speech therapists, and speech pathologists - hours and hours of seemingly simple, yet labor-intensive and time-consuming efforts.

Dima needs to undergo another course of therapy that should help him learn to speak those simple words his parents have been anticipating for so long: "Mom", "Dad", "Give". Dima cannot talk yet.

The new course is also necessary to reduce the spasticity in Dima’s muscles: the illness makes them so tense, any movement is very difficult and often painful.

Dima’s parents are not able to pay for this course of therapy. Only the boy’s father works, and his mother dedicates all her time to taking care of Dima.

Misha

Age: 6
From: Chekhov (Moscow Region)
Diagnosis: CP
Fundraising goal:  $2,015 

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Misha Ovchinnikov
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Rehabilitation therapy at the Academy of Health Medical Center  
In the summertime, Misha goes outside to play. He already has some friends on the playground; he can go down the slide together with them, or sit in the sandbox, planning a new large-scale construction project. Misha can't talk yet, but that doesn't impede his communication with friends.

Five years ago, Misha's grandmother noticed that her grandson could not sit up in his crib for some reason. Misha was examined, tested, and diagnosed with CP.

With his mother's help, Misha does special exercises on the pull-up bars next to the playground. He is now able to stand for some time with support; he can hold his head up and keep his back straight, and he can also make a few sounds. This is a result of rehabilitation therapy and exercising tirelessly at home.

Just to come outside in the summertime to play with his friends and go down the slide is already a victory for Misha and his family. Learning to move his arms a little better is an important achievement that takes a long time to reach. Most of us never even think that even the simplest movements can be the result of a long battle. But Misha knows that's how it is for him.

What matters now is to not lose and reinforce the therapy results. Misha will do physical therapy and learn new sounds with a speech therapist and speech pathologist. Doctors say that therapy will help release the tension in Misha’s muscles, which will allow Misha to move more freely.

Yesenia

Age: 3
From: Kirovo-Chepetsk (Kirov Region)
Diagnosis: spastic left-sided hemiparesis
Fundraising goal:  $2,400 

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Yesenia Melnik
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Rehabilitation therapy at Sakura Medical Center  
Yesenia was born in a large, close-knit, loving family. This little girl is quite unique: first, at just three Yesenia is already showing aptitude for mathematics! She counts everything she sees: toys, sweets, socks, and passing cars. Second, even though walking is difficult for her, Yesenia is capable of treating others with great kindness, attention, and compassion – if she sees an upset child, she will try to console them.

Yesenia is also very independent. One of the first phrases she ever said was, "I can do it myself!" However, the little girl must almost always rely on her parents' help: because of her diagnosis, the left side of her body is significantly lagging in development, and Yesenia needs to go to Chelyabinsk for rehabilitation therapy that will help remedy the consequences of damage to the right hemisphere of her brain.

Quality rehabilitation therapy is expensive. Paying for it can be problematic for any family, let alone for one with three children. This is probably why you are reading this – together we can do good and help little Yesenia!
You helped - thank you!
Because of your donations, these children are able to continue their rehabilitation therapies. This means that every day, they are getting a little closer to all the things we take for granted - talking, walking (and even running!), playing with friends, going to school. Thank you!

Daniel

Age: 10
From: Moscow Region
Diagnosis: CP (a result of birth injury)
Fundraising goal:  $1,600 

Money raised! Thank you.
Daniel Khodyrev
Daniel's diagnosis is the result of birth trauma. After his birth, Danya - as his friends and family call him for short - spent a month in the PICU. Then he came home from the hospital, and the non-stop rehabilitation treatments began. In the 9 years of rehabilitation, Danya has learned to sit and crawl on his own, and to stand. He hasn't mastered walking without help yet, though. Danya is a very cheerful and inquisitive boy. He is interested in everything, from a tiny bug to how cars work. Other kids of Danya's age already go to school. And he wants to learn, run, and play soccer with other kids, too. Danya just wants to be "like everyone else". But he can’t yet.

The doctors predict that Danya has a very good chance to achieve great results, and, most importantly, to learn to walk on his own. Without good rehabilitation therapy, though, it is practically impossible. Unfortunately, Danya’s mother Anastasia is on her own with him and is unable to raise the money necessary to pay for this therapy on her own.

Daniel’s mother writes about the treatment at the Shamarin Center:
My son Daniel just completed another course of rehabilitation therapy at the Shamarin Center. This is not our first time at the Center, and each time we leave with new results. This course was no exception: the efforts of physical therapists who spent two hours each day on various exercises (including stability ball, passive gymnastics, walking with forearm crutches, massage and taping) brought wonderful results. My son can now stand for longer periods of time, his coordination has improved, his back and leg muscles are stronger, and the tonicity in his arms is much lower. In the afternoons, after the treatment sessions, we strolled around a lot and walked in the woods where Daniel picked blueberries and looked for mushrooms. All of these achievements helped Danya set a new record: he can now take a few steps on his own, and his gait is much steadier! He is no longer scared of falling down, and he is braver as he heads for his goal – learning to walk!

Vika & Lera

Age: 9
From: Yeysk, Krasnodar Krai
Diagnosis: CP/left-sided hemiparesis (Vika); CP (spastic diplegia) and delayed mental development (Lera)
Fundraising goal:  $4,030 

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Vika & Lera Kononova
Alla and Vladimir were really looking forward to the birth of their twin daughters, Viktoria and Valeria. Like all parents, they were planning out their life, imagining the girls going to childcare and school together. Alla’s pregnancy was going well; however, she went into labor early, long before the due date. While the hospital was waiting for neonatologists to arrive, the girls had suffered significant complications. A month after their arrival, Alla and the girls were finally discharged from the hospital.

At first, the girls were doing well - gaining weight, babbling, playing with their toys. But by the time they turned 6 months, their parents noticed that, though Vika was already belly-crawling and trying to sit up without support, Lera wasn't even able to unclench her fists, and even lying on her tummy was torture for her. After a number of tests, the doctors diagnosed Lera with CP.

The girls are now 9 years old. The older twin, Vika, was only given disability status 4 years ago. At first glance, she is no different from her peers. But when the other children at school play active games or dance, Vika has to sit on a chair.

Vika tries to help Lera all the time, and can’t wait for her sister to be able to walk on her own. Lera is, too, a very cheerful and outgoing girl, but her vocabulary is smaller because of her diagnosis.

Every course of rehabilitation therapy means new achievements for the girls. Vika can begin running around a bit and feel more freedom of movement. Lera will have stronger muscles, which is an important prerequisite for learning to walk. Their parents are unable to pay for rehabilitation on their own. Only the father works, and his modest salary of a police officer is barely enough for the bare necessities. The mother cannot work because Lera needs constant care.

Misha

Age: 7
From: Vladimir
Diagnosis: delayed mental and speech development due to a neurodevelopmental disorder; compensated hydrocephalic syndrome
Fundraising goal:  $1,130 

Money raised! Thank you.
Misha Mironov
Misha likes to build things using construction sets, tools, or clay. It's not easy for him, though - his fine motor skills are not as developed as they should be. He also has trouble communicating with others because he cannot talk: he can say separate words, but that's it.

The Center for Speech Pathology and Neurorehabilitation seems to be the perfect place to help Misha. The first three rounds of therapy brought noticeable results: Misha's speech improved - along with his memory, logical thinking, understanding, and imagination.

Misha's parents do everything they can to help him catch up with other kids, make friends, and make a move from preschool to elementary school. They can't afford the treatment he needs right now, but we can help them!

Violetta

Age: 6
From: Bashkortostan
Diagnosis: CP, delayed mental and speech development, partial optic nerve atrophy
Fundraising goal:  $2,705 

Money raised! Thank you.
Violetta Gainetdinova
Violetta loves to dance, sing, and make new friends. But some things - like walking, standing up, and speaking clearly - are hard for her because of cerebral palsy.

Violetta was born at term, but she was a small and weak baby. Doctors in the rural area where her parents lived failed to diagnose intrauterine growth restriction and did not deliver the baby pre-term, as she should have been. By the time she was seven months old, it became obvious that Violetta's developmental delays were being caused by CP, not just by the fact that she had a rough start.

When Violetta was two, her parents divorced; her mom devotes all her time and effort to caring for her daughter and making sure she gets the necessary medical help. There is no child support or alimony; the only source of income for the family is Violetta's small disability pension.

The previous treatment course, while it did eat up the family's savings, brought great results: Violetta learned to climb chairs and couches, stand with support, and walk - also with support, very slowly and clumsily, but still, she's walking! The doctors say Violetta has great potential for improvement. She and her mom can't wait to see what great results the next round of treatment will bring. And they need your help to do it!

A letter from Violetta's mother:
First of all, my daughter and I would like to thank you for the opportunity to have this rehabilitation therapy! Thank you for organizing holiday gifts for our children!

We do have new results, of course. Violetta started walking more steadily, and falling down less – especially falling backwards, which is something we have been struggling with for a long time. Our main emphasis in physical exercises was on correct gait (instead of walking with feet spread out, like she prefers), as well as on learning to walk on an inclined surface and overcoming at least small obstacles on her way. Thank God, thanks to your help, she has improved in all of these areas! She is no longer as scared of falling; she is trying to keep her arms down when she walks, not up (which she used to do to help her keep her balance, like toddlers do). Thanks to the massage therapy she received, her bowel movements became normal (she often suffered from constipation before). Her memory and vocabulary have increased significantly; to learn an 8-line poem now she only needs 3-4 days, while earlier it took 7-8 days! When we got back home, she started getting up next to a fitness ball and, moving it with her hands, following it with her feet. Her left hand used to be completely non-functional, and now she's able to grab large objects with it, and although she can't hold them properly yet, it is already a great achievement!

There is still a lot of work to be done on her gait, speech, and hands, but this therapy has given a new great impulse to Violetta’s development. A big thank you, once again, for giving us the opportunity to have this therapy! Every new course of therapy gives us positive results! Violetta’s overall emotional state, too, is becoming more happy and calm. THANK YOU! May God grant the Fund and all of its staff members and donors happiness and prosperity!

Andrey

Age: 6
From: Moscow Region
Diagnosis: delayed mental and speech development with autistic traits, residual neurodevelopmental disorder, ADHD, sub-compensated hypertensive-hydrocephalic syndrome
Fundraising goal:  $1,355 

Money raised! Thank you.
Andrey Yevseyev
Andrey likes music, books, and sand drawing. And he loves his swim lessons at the pool! But he cannot talk, which makes it hard for him to communicate with others.

Though the delivery was difficult, Andrey was born healthy. In his first year, however, some developmental delays became obvious. He was a late sitter, a late walker, and he did not respond to his name or react when spoken to. With the help of a speech therapist and a psychologist, as well as swimming lessons, Andrey started responding to his name and developed a pointing gesture. He started repeating words and he can understand speech better. There is now hope that one day Andrey will be able to talk.

Andrey's parents can't afford the treatment at Reacenter - Samara, but they desperately hope to hear their son speak one day. Let's help them make this happen.

Lilia

Age: 6
From: Moscow Region
Diagnosis: spastic left-sided hemiparesis
Fundraising goal:  $1,300 

Money raised! Thank you.
Lilia Kozlova
Lilia is the second and youngest child in her family. Her parents wanted a second child for a long time, and finally, six years ago, their little girl with a “flowery” name Lilia ("lily") was born. She is a happy, kind, and cheerful child with many friends.

Just like any child, Lilia has dreams. But they are different from the wishes of most children: this little girl is dreaming of learning to ride a bike, to ice-skate, or just to run and race her friends. And she is genuinely surprised when she is not able to do it. With the kind of CP Lilia has, her right arm and leg are noticeably shorter than the left, and this makes walking very tiring for her.

Lilia is six now; this is the time when a child’s body grows very fast. She needs to begin rehabilitation therapy very soon – this fall. The treatment will bring the improvement her body needs so much. Children’s dreams should come true, and together we can act as fairies, because this is what true magic is: making people a little happier!

A letter from Lilya's mother:
Hello! Lilya did very well. She started to put some weight on her right heel! Because her leg is now stronger and can bear more weight, Lilya walks much better, with more confidence and without getting tired too quickly.

Lilya's pelvis is more aligned now, too, and this is very important for us; she used to favour her left leg when walking, and walking like that produces asymmetry that can be very damaging in the long term. Lilya now can straighten her right elbow and lift her arm up and to the side. Because her muscle tone is now lower, she can actually put weight on her hands while standing on hands and knees.

Unfortunately, Lilya's fine motor skills still leave a lot of be desired - she is still unable to grasp anything with her right hand, but she tries very hard and gets upset that it doesn't work. We very much hope that her right arm and foot can catch up in length with the left ones a little, especially the arm. her muscle tone is now lower, she can actually put weight on her hands while standing on hands and knees.

We will try our best to hold on to these results. Big thanks once again for the opportunity to go through this rehabilitation course. The doctors and instructors at the Galileo center are real wizards!

Darina

Age: 8
Diagnosis: cerebral palsy
Fundraising goal:  $1,950 

Money raised! Thank you.
Darina Almayeva
Meet Darina, a brown-eyed blonde beauty. This year she completed first grade of regular public school. And she didn’t just complete it – she received a number of certificates for participating in various contests and competitions. Everyone notices that Darina enjoys studying. She is a very interesting and outgoing individual. Even though she is just a first-grader, she started writing short stories about animals.

Darina lives with her mother, Elena, and an older brother, and they love her very much. Now that she is in school, she made many new friends. Because of the type of CP she has, though, it is difficult for her to move around on her own. After a few courses of rehabilitation, Darina is able to walk with support. Her mother – the most important person in Darina’s life – does not want to stop at this , though. She believes that together they can overcome all obstacles.

Further improvement is possible – with additional rehabilitation therapy, Darina may start walking on her own. This means that she'll be able to keep attending school, spending time with her friends, and meeting new people. Together we can prove to Darina and her wonderful mother that anything is possible: wishes do come true, and a little girl who couldn't walk can start walking. All she needs is a little help, and helping is so easy!
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