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A hope for a wonder

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08 July 2012


There are 30 beds in Altai Regional Clinical Children Hospital in Western Siberia, which are never empty. 

They are taken by children, who have to fight one of the toughest illnesses in the world - cancer. Theirs is a ward of haematological cancers, and many of its patients spend months of their childhood, unable to leave its walls.

We are a team of TV journalists, covering events from the Altai Region and its capital city, Barnaul, for the 'Nashi Novosti' — or 'Our News'- programme. 

Three years ago we filmed a story about a brave little girl called Victoria, who had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour on her kidney. The operation went well, but soon Victoria had to return, as doctors found metastases in her lungs. She was only four years old. 

All we could do for her then was to ask: is there something that could help you get through to the next round of treatment? Victoria wanted a doll. Next morning, about an hour after the end of the broadcast we had the most beautiful doll delivered together with the best wishes for Victoria from one of our viewers.

As doctors later told us, even more than the doll itself, the magic of her wish coming true was one of the factors which helped her to be at her best through all the time she needed to spend in the hospital. She had won that battle, and we are very happy to say that she is doing fine now.

Little Victoria's extraordinary story brought such a response from our viewers, asking if they could help other patients, that we decided to launch a separate project, and named it 'A Hope For A Wonder'.
We started working on the project together with 'Mother and Child' Altai Regional Public Organisation, and the 'Yelena' Charity Fund.

We ourselves haven't turned into a full-scale charity ourselves, but continued to act as a middlemen between the children, their families, and our audience. The crew for 'A Hope For A Wonder' goes to the hospital, where they talk to the child about the wish he or she would like to become true — and then we return to deliver the present. 

As it was with Victoria, we always get very prompt reaction from our loyal and generous viewers, and during the time of this programme's work we have made some 300 wishes come true.

It is very heart warming to feel such support, and watch the growing response from Barnaul and Altai Region companies, which are now coming out with offers to support the hospital ward, and, crucially too, the patients' families, where so often one of the parents have to completely abandon their job in order to be with the child.

We will continue to work on 'A Hope For A Wonder'.


Stanislav, 36, editor-in-chief of 'Regional Information Agency', 'Our News' programme, Altai Region, Western Siberia.

Born in the south of Russia, in the city of Taganrog, Stanislav has lived in Siberia since the age of four. He is a Graduate of the Foreign Language Department of Barnaul State University, and has been working on TV since 1996.

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