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It happened so long ago - a two-year old white-haired and white-skinned little boy, sitting on his mother's lap in the hospital courtyard. "He needs a bone marrow transplant, that's 65 thousand dollars" - that's impossible! I considered collecting a thousand Hryvnias for the quartz lamps for the unit a great accomplishment, but this? No, it's impossible, we could never collect this much!
It was so long ago - billboards with his little face, already so dear to me, all through the city. Banners. And myself, adding 10, 20, 50 Hryvnias donated to his mother Sveta to the Excel spreadsheet for reporting our progress to those who donated.
It was so long ago - "there is no matching donor in the databases available to us, we are unable to help you" - replied Belarus. 65 thousand dollars are not enough. A chance for this little boy's survival costs more - 137 thousand dollars. We must continue searching further. So that he would have a chance...
It happened so long ago - on his third birthday, a phone call and a male voice on the other end of the line, "I will donate the remaining amount, where shall I bring it?" And a jeep on the snow-covered street, and a newspaper-wrapped bundle of money in the beginning days of January, just like a New Year's present - it was so long ago...
It was so long ago - the letter "there is no matching donor in the entire world" and a trembling voice on the phone, "Irina, what should we do? What will happen?!"
It seems to have been just yesterday - "there is a donor." Just a few days later. Like a miracle! "Sveta, pack your bags for the trip, there is a donor!" And the little boy waved to me from the car, leaving for his trip to have the transplant - as if it were yesterday.
It seems to have happened just yesterday - the night of July 1st, 2008, the Skype message "they've started infusing the donor cells". And the prayers for him, which I uttered to Heaven - I remember them as if it were yesterday.
It seems to have happened just yesterday - his fourth birthday. When he already had a new, working bone marrow. No longer needing blood transfusions. With definite belief that yes, it worked! I remember that intoxicating feeling. And I also remember the fear, because not everything was going smoothly. As if it happened just yesterday.
It happened as if yesterday - waiting for him to arrive in the Dnepropetrovsk airport, the sleepy look on his face and his arms, stretching out to me. He came back. He's alive. He's pink! Because he is not anemic any more. He no longer has the defective bone marrow. He is alive and well!
December 29th, 2014, he is 10 years old. He goes to school, plays with his friends, goes to the seaside with his family...He's an ordinary child, one of many thousands children around. Except we paid more than 150 thousand dollars for his life. Except that his bone marrow came from an anonymous donor from the USA. From the only donor in the world with whom he was compatible.
He is Danil Pshenichnyi. His story took place so long ago, that probably many of you have never heard about it. But...today, when I received a message from his mother Sveta, "we are 10 years old today...", I realized that I simply must tell his story. The story of the boy who is alive thanks to human compassion. Then, 8 years ago, we of course didn't dare look so far in the future...we didn't try to guess how he will be some day. We simply wanted him to be alive. And he is! Our Danil Pshenichnyi is here! Thank you all for this!