Today I went with Neil Matheson to visit some Guardian Angel Families. These are families that have a child or family member who is considered an “invalid”. This is the same group of people from my previous post about the “Day of the Angel” party.
We started the day by visiting two families that are supported by a group of people from my work at Shorewood Packaging.
The first is Yeleana Moyesyenko. She is approx. 34 years old and suffers from a brain injury caused by a “forced birth”. She cannot communicate but can move around and feed herself. Her parents are amazing people who have dedicated their lives to caring for her. The love in this home is incredible! They are so thankful for everything that we do for them. We bring them everything from vitamins and food to adult diapers and clothing. They have recently been to the bank and been approved for a mortgage on their home which is currently owned by the government (this is very common here but starting to change). They are going to use the money that we left with them to run water pipes to the house so that they will finally have running water and not have to go down the street for it. They asked if we could stay for tea and when we agreed the table was covered with all manner of food.
In the backyard they keep rabbits and muskrats which they use for food. During our tea, Pat Yuille mentioned that he has 3 horses and Yeleana’s father, Leonid, said that he used to have a horse but now he has a small tractor. Pat said that he too has a tractor. This left Leonid confused as to why he would need 3 horses if he had a tractor … he could not understand why anyone would want all of the work to care for horses purely for “entertainment” purposes!
Our next stop was our other Shorewood Packaging family. This boy and his mother live in a very remote location and the road was in such bad shape that we had to walk the last half of a kilometer.
Jhenya is now 16 and has a hole in his heart. His growth was very slow and they thought at one time that he would have to have surgery to repair it, now it seems that as he has grown the hole has become smaller. He will continue to go to Minsk once per year for an ultra-sound to ensure it remains OK. He certainly looks healthier every year when I visit.
Jhenya’s mother was not home as she had traveled to Mogilev to visit Jhenya’s sister. Jhenya was very much the man of the house, inviting us in and making sure everyone was comfortable.
This year one of the folks in our group went out and bought Jhenya a brand new bicycle! He was extremely happy and couldn’t wait to get it out for a photo op!
After this visit I went back into town to pick up Kenny Sine (one of our Fire Fighters) who has decided to sponsor a child in the Guardian Angel Program. We met at an intersection in town with a tank as a monument. The monument was erected in 1994 for the 50th anniversary of driving the Germans out of Chausy towards the end of WW2.
The little girl that Kenny is going to sponsor is named Katya and she is a beautiful 5 year old. She has a skin disorder that has not been completely diagnosed. They are not sure if it is caused by an allergy or something else. The cream that they are currently using to treat it is very expensive. Mostly it affects her hands, face and legs. When we visited today her condition was very good, sometimes it can be very severe and her skin will crack and bleed. Here is Katya:
At first, like most 5 year olds, she was very shy and stuck pretty close to her father.
But Kenny took some pictures and video of her and she started to warm up.
Before we left, her father wanted to give Kenny a present and went out to the shed. When he returned he had a puppy!
Although it was a nice dog, Kenny explained that he could not take it with him on the plane ride back to Canada, but he asked if he could come and visit it when he returned to Belarus.
When we left, Katya had decided that Kenny was OK and even held his hand on the way out to the car!
And another Guardian Angel Sponsor is born!