LAST UPDATED Dec 20, 2004
February 14, 2000
Dear Friends of Ukrainian Gift of Life:
The symbol of Valentine’s Day naturally reminds us of the hearts of all the children in Ukraine that have been healed and still need to be healed. But the message of the day – love and caring – reminds us of the generous hearts of donors like you without whom Ukrainian Gift
Life could not continue its work and we just wanted to send you an update on what’s happening.
This month we have initiated the program at St. Joe’s Hospital in New Jersey. The first child, three-year-old Vitali Mindzyak, and his mother Inna arrived a week ago, despite some anxious moments. The American Consulate in Kyiv did not schedule their visa interview until the day before they were to depart from Ukraine. If their airline tickets were purchased and their visas were not granted, UGOL funds would have been lost. Knowing this, Vitali’s grandmother waited in Lviv until she heard the results of the visa interview. After our representative there purchased the tickets, the grandmother took the 10-hour train ride to Kyiv to deliver the tickets so that her grandson could keep his scheduled appointment for life-saving surgery in the US.
We are approaching a very busy time. Because Montefiore Hospital was required to reserve beds for potential respiratory illnesses of local children, no surgeries were scheduled for January and February. However, five children are scheduled for surgery in March. This normally would be a strain on the translators available to assist the mothers. However, God has blessed us with eight new volunteer translators.
Also during March, we have invited Dr. Yuri Ivaniv to come to America. While here, he will participate in the pre-operative and post-operative care of Gift of Life children and observe in the operating room. The goal of UGOL is to accelerate the self-sufficiency of Ukraine. The study, observation and conferences Dr. Ivaniv will attend will contribute to that end.
The future holds many exciting possibilities for Ukrainian children who require heart surgery. In addition to the US program, "Operation CHILD CARDI© -CARE" has been well received by the Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian communities as an opportunity to support children’s surgeries in Ukraine. In addition to this new program at the Lviv Surgical Center, we have become aware of a facility near the Black Sea that is desperately in need of in-country medical support. Our medical advisor is exploring the possibility of UGOL partnering with another foundation in response to this need.
Although we minimize costs of the program through a 100% volunteer effort, additional funds are necessary to continue our outreach. Please encourage your friends to send tax-deductible contributions to Ukrainian Gift of Life,Inc. at the above address to help continue this work. Thank you again for having a heart and saving a heart.
UGOL Trustees & Advisory Board