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In my previous “Ira’s Insights” I wrote about a 7-year-old Ukrainian girl, Sasha, who is suffering from a rare disorder – arthrogryposis. (This congenital disorder is characterized by multiple joint contractures.) MUCH has helped with some money to buy plane tickets to Israel for Sasha’s examination.

Unfortunately, Sasha and her mother couldn’t go there on time because of “Ukrainian reality.” Sometimes it is hard for many people to understand it. I think people of Post-Soviet countries have a good “immune system” to digest our reality, but for others, this life is very unusual when they hear such stories.

Sasha’s mother, Natasha, is a person who tries to do her best for her daughter. Although Sasha receives some money as a disabled child, the government doesn’t provide enough money for her needs. Natasha works very hard to provide for her family. When she received the money for the tickets to Israel from MUCH, she started preparations for her trip. Working every day, she was collecting all information with the help of the Internet and the phone.

She called to the Israeli Embassy in Kiev to ask what documentation she had to bring with her to Kiev to get Israeli visas for her and her daughter. She called them several times to be sure that she would bring the right documents. She was assured that she would be able to finish all of the paper work in one day. Then she contacted with the clinic in Israel for them to give her the date when the doctors would have a council and would examine Sasha. Having gotten the date from the Israeli clinic, she bought tickets. She was happy because she could get the cheapest tickets in Odessa at that time. Natasha even asked them if something happened, could she change the date of her flight without any penalty. Again, she was assured that there were not any problems.

Everything was nice until she went to Kiev. There an unpleasant surprise was waiting for her. In the embassy, she was told that on some documents there were not enough seals. To put seals on the documents she had to return to Odessa again! She realized that she couldn’t finish all of the paper work in one day. Natasha was very upset because several times before she had been told what documents to bring. Nobody from the embassy had told her about those additional seals. She begged some officials in the embassy to understand her situation but they were merciless. It was her first unpleasant experience. When she returned to Odessa to finish the paper work, she called to the Israeli clinic and explained the situation. She was given a new date for her daughter to come to be examined. Natasha went to the airline booking office to change the dates for her flight to Israel. And she was shocked with another unpleasant surprise. This time she had to pay a penalty to change the date of her flight. The penalty for each ticket cost $150. Natasha tried to explain that she had been promised that she wouldn’t pay any penalty if she changed the dates, but again she saw a brick wall of hardheartedness. She was returned $300 less than she had paid. Natasha thought that she wouldn’t have enough money to get any tickets to Israel, but a woman at the airline booking office found two tickets at a much cheaper price than she had bought the first time. Mixed emotions filled the poor woman. She was upset about her failures and was happy to have new tickets.

Having finished my story, I would give a name for it, “A Loving Heart of the Mother”. Natasha has shown her dedication to Sasha, having broken through the red tape.

Finally, she had tickets and all her paper work completed. On October 26, she left for Israel where her daughter was examined the next day. I will tell you the story about her trip to the Israeli clinic in the November Newsletter.

Again, I want to thank everybody who has supported financially the trip to Israel for Sasha and her courageous mother. Your help has shown Natasha that in this world there is not only injustice and hardheartedness, but there are helpful hands ready to reach out with kindness and generosity.

Until next time,


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