We are reaching and helping a huge number of orphans, but here is a personal story of interest of the special needs of particularly needy children.
In the winter of 2004 in Berdichev, a small town in north west Ukraine near the Chernobyl zone, an unknown young woman was pregnant with a child that was unwanted. This child would complicate her life more than she liked. She wanted to be “free” to get back to a life of alcohol, drugs, partying and stealing. Her birth pains brought her to a small hospital, where soon after arrival, she gave birth to a small baby boy. There was no one who welcomed this skinny baby with a smile, except God, who had a plan for this child that said, “I have plans for your good, to give you a future and a hope.”
Shortly after birth, Andrey was diagnosed with a lactose and animal protein intolerance. Andrey has Phenylketonuria (PKU) – his body can’t process protein, and with this disorder, his growth would be hindered, and his brain damaged.
He could have been relatively healthy with the medication the hospital provided but his mother fed the formula to her pigs hoping it would cause them to grow faster.
The lack of essential nourishment affected Andrey drastically. He was underdeveloped. His brain capacity was degraded, his skin showed vivid signs of sickness. When he turned four, he could barely walk, talk, or play. It was at this stage when he was taken to an orphanage for disabled kids.
In 2014, Ukraine faced the outbreak of war with the Russian Rebel Army, stirring up ethnic civil war between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. That had a negative domino effect on the whole country and orphanages were the first to suffer. Medications and supplements were in very short supply.
Andrey and others desperately needed treatment – special lactose free food and special P-AM2 formula with essential minerals and vitamins. Once we started to supply this to the orphanage, Andrey started regaining strength, increasing in brain development, and was becoming a wonderful teenager, still a bit behind, but growing normally.
In 2016, when Andrey was 12, I was due to conduct outreach seminars for the Ukrainian Military, Sports Institutions and Universities, we arranged to visit the Berdichev orphanage. We could have chosen any of 7 other orphanages but chose Berdichev. When we arrived, the director begged us for help, informing us that they had almost run out of P-AM2 formula for Andrey and the others, and also medicine to help the epileptic kids to avoid having fits.
We shot over to the local pharmacy in the next town and bought the epilepsy medication. Then we contacted the manufacturer of the P-AM2 formula in Germany for an ongoing order of the formula costing $250 each month, which Andrey needs to keep his brain developing, and in addition to buy special foods like soy products. We’ve been sourcing these items for 4 years now, and Andrey is growing up well.
There are a few people who have been touched by this story who are helping us meet the health needs of the orphans, but the number of needy children is growing. Please stand with us to help meet the needs for this supply of medication.