In every country there are big and small cities, big and little towns and of course villages.
In each of these places, there are advantages and disadvantages of living there. If you live in a big city, you can choose: a school for your children to go to, work to earn money, a shop to buy food, a cinema and a club to have fun, a hospital and a doctor to be treated. Having such advantages are good. But, there are some disadvantages, and the biggest ones are pollution, smoggy streets and much traffic. Most people dislike it and enjoy going to the country on weekends to have rest. That is a story of living in a big city.
Small cities, towns and villages have a different life. Most people who live there know each other well; usually we say, “I know who and how they breathe”. There are a lot of advantages to living in such small places, such as fresh air, comfort about your children playing in the yard, etc. But – in a small community there is no big variety of food products in the shops. To get to a big city it is also a big problem – not everyone in a small place of post-Soviet countries has a car, so people have to use public transportation. If you are sick you can’t choose a hospital or a doctor to go to because in the place where you live there is only one small medical center where you can go to get help. Recently I read in the news that in one of the villages a young man died. He had been waiting for help, for an ambulance for a couple of hours! In the village where he lived, there is not any medical place for people to address for help. If their children are sick, not doctors, but their parents treat them. When I read that news I thought, “How do people with serious disabilities live there?”
In Illichevsk, the Massage Clinic is attended by many children who live, not in the city, but in little towns and villages that are near the city. In these places, there is not medical help for children with disabilities. From my own experience, I know how difficult it is to get to Illichevsk without my own transportation. I live in a town that is situated close to Illichevsk (approximately 15 minutes of driving); my house is not far from the bus stop but it took me about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to where I had to go using public transportation. And that was only one way. There are many small towns and villages throughout Ukraine that do not have easy access, if they have any access at all, to rehabilitation facilities. I think Illichevsk is one of the small cities that is blessed by God because there is a Massage Clinic and Rehabilitation Centre for the disabled children there. The same is true with the small town, Froonza, in Crimea, where there are about 15 special children. The Massage Clinic that is run with the help of MUCH gives hope, both to the children and their mothers.
I think that eight to ten years ago, parents of children with disabilities, either in or near Illichevsk or in Froonza, never thought that in the future they would have so many advantages for their children. I am sure that this is just the beginning of what will happen, thanks to the work of many people who have opened their hearts for the sake of special children in Ukraine.
Until next time,