When medical advocacy feels like a miracle
Masha R. (above) is grateful to Last Bell for “helping her believe in miracles.” Compassionate advocacy can feel that way to young people who were alone for so many years.
Masha’s father died and her mother struggled with addictions; she went to an orphanage at nine years old. We met her during our life skills lessons at her social dorm. She graduated from trade school and now studies a technical trade in college.
Masha is an active, energetic, kind young woman. She’s close to our staff and involved in many Last Bell activities. But since childhood, her vision was poor – she tested recently at about 30% of “normal” vision.
This is not uncommon; orphans’ health – including vision – is often neglected, and orphanage graduates don’t have the knowledge or experience to advocate for themselves. So medical advocacy is a big priority in our model of holistic care. By herself, Masha couldn’t have procured a diagnosis, traveled to appointments, filled out the paperwork, or talked to doctors. And medical care is expensive. Meeting physical needs is one of the most foundational ways to show we care.
Staff members Lena Voznyuk and Luba and Vasya Yaroshuk were all involved in taking Masha to eye exams, including several trips to Kyiv (a two-hour drive each way). Finally, Masha had eye surgery. Lena reported, “I’m very glad that I was able to be beside her. It was painful, and Masha cried a lot.” Now Masha’s vision is at 90%. God sent our staff to be a miracle for Masha!
A big DYAKUYU (“thank you” in Ukrainian) to all our friends who gave to the summer camp fund! You met and exceeded our $16k goal. Every summer we witness God healing families and bringing hope to our youth. Thanks for believing in the power of camp!