Many readers have asked how they can help families with hemophilia during the terrible situation in Ukraine. No one knew for a while; factor cannot be shipped in and hemophilia families were probably on the move. The Ukraine Hemophilia Society posted that they were holding on and had factor.
Then we heard from my long-time friend and colleague, Adriana Henderson of North Carolina, formerly of Romania, who operates S.T.A.R. Children Relief, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children in Romania with medical needs. Many years ago Adriana had asked for help for a child with hemophilia in need of surgery and Project SHARE helped. We became friends ever since!
Adriana shared that Daniel, the president of the Romanian Hemophilia Society, had received into his home a refugee family from Ukraine with hemophilia. The Mylyk family left everything behind. Instantly, we knew we could help. I started a GoFundMe, with all proceeds going to S.T.A.R., and then to the family. This past week we heard from the family.
Adriana writes: “Thank you for fundraising for the family from Ukraine who found shelter in Romania. And thank you, Daniel Andrei, for hosting the family. We are sending $2,000 for the upkeep of the family, $1,650 raised by you through your friends. Thank you to all. Their son Arsenii drew this beautiful friendship flag, and below is their letter of thanks to you and your friends.”
“Good afternoon, dear Laurie Kelley! We are the Mylyk family from Ukraine. On February 24, we woke up from explosions outside our window. Taking our smartphone with the news, we realized that the war had begun. It was a terrible and incomparable feeling. We were in hiding for several days and did not understand what to do. Run? And to where? Is there a war in that region? And how to get there? Will we be able to stay in the car in such a cold?
“We were hiding! We hid in a shelter and went into the apartment for just a few minutes. At one point, Chris Bombardier wrote to me and offered to help me with a factor and accommodation with the head of the hemophilia organization in Romania. We thought for a long time because for us it was the first trip abroad, especially in such military conditions. It was painful and hard for us to leave our home and go into the unknown. The only thing we took with us was the remaining factor and 3 jackets. Before that, we were sheltered in western Ukraine by a wonderful woman, whose grandson is also a hemophiliac! Upon arrival in Romania, we were surprised by the kindness and help of Daniel Andrei and his extended family. Wonderful people who gave us everything we needed. Chris Bombardier did not forget us, wrote to me, worried about our health and our move, offered help.
“And one fine day, Daniel came to us with wonderful information that Laurie Kelley from America wants to help us financially, for our needs, and is ready to send us a sum of money to help our son, for transportation costs and paperwork, food and so on. We would very much like to thank you personally, everyone who joined this help and the large family of hemophiliacs, their relatives throughout America and the entire planet. We thank you not only for your personal assistance and initiative, but also for the huge contribution that the United States makes to our victory over Russia. This is very important at such a difficult time for our country. Twelve years ago, hemophilia knocked on our doors with the birth of our son. Yes, this is a complex and serious disorder that requires factor, forces and attention of society and doctors. But this disorder introduced our family to incredibly kind, sympathetic and generous people. These people showed us what great and wonderful things people can do when they believe in God, success and miracles! Let peace come to Ukraine! Thank you very much to the community and family of people who are united by hemophilia!”