The story of Ilyusha from Chernihiv


Lord, how nice it is to write about LIFE! My Ukraine is experiencing so much pain… And the news and rumors are very upsetting. But when I look at every baby saved from the war (I also mean the struggle that you sometimes face in local hospitals), it warms my soul. And I want to continue working so that even after the war, our small Ukrainian cancer patients have the opportunity to be treated in decent conditions. Such a place will be the first Christian Oncology Clinic “Timosha’s Smile” in Ukraine.

Today’s story is about little Ilyusha, who heard the terrible reality in Chernihiv at the beginning of the war. And now he is safe, in one of the best clinics in Europe. Thank you to Maria Letizia Verga Center for all the young Ukrainian patients accepted.

So, let me introduce you to Deineko family – Maria, Sasha and their son.

We are Deineko family from Chernihiv.

Ilyusha, our youngest son, who is 3 years old, was diagnosed with “acute lymphoblastic leukemia” in May. Doctors in Chernihiv immediately started treatment. At that time, the Chernihiv region had already been liberated from the occupiers, but the hospital was not ready for the long-term stay of children with cancer. Air alarms are constant and there was no warm water.

All the children were evacuated to European hospitals back in March. We were taken by ambulance to Kyiv Clinical Hospital. We stayed there for a week, after which we went to Lviv by train.

We were promised they would help us move to a European hospital further. But the evacuation is over. Therefore, my husband and I decided to take matters into our own hands. He found Yuliia Sanko on the Internet. And we began to learn about “Timosha’s Smile” Foundation. We called Yuliia, wrote, asked many questions. It was hard to believe what Yuliia said about free treatment, accommodation, and other privileges for Ukrainians.

Because of the war, I still didn’t have time to get a foreign passport, and I didn’t know how I would be able to cross the border. Doctors in Lviv were afraid that the child would not be able to endure such a journey. And I was afraid, nervous, I almost lost consciousness. Then Yuliia gave me several phone numbers of those families who had previously come to Italy. I called Olesa and Ira. Thanks to the girls and Yuliia it became easier for me to decide. I decided that I had to go, and I finally had an idea in my head about when and how to do it. Yuliia patiently explained everything, gave suggestions, answered all questions, and helped my husband. So, we set off on such a difficult and long journey.

We decided to go by car. The road took us 2 days and 2 nights. It was difficult. We were especially worried about Ilyusha. But, with God’s help, we reached Italy. I met Oksana, a translator who helped me get registered at the hospital.

We were very tired, Ilyusha was scared. After a few days of adaptation, he realized that all the aunts and uncles are kind. And we enjoyed the good conditions at Maria Letizia Verga Hospital. And the husband enjoyed living in Kashin (a hostel for parents).

My son and I gradually began to return to normal life when we were discharged from the hospital. One and a half months in four hospitals, constant moving, different doctors, nurses – it was a great stress for such a little kid.

Thank God, we are being treated and live in good conditions. And all this is thanks to this kind, compassionate and bright people – Yuliia and Yuriy Sanko and their charitable foundation “Timosha’s Smile”.

Our family is very grateful to Yuliia and Yuriy for the fact that Ilyusha receives free care in one of the best hospitals. And we believe that this is God’s gift. And all Ukrainian children deserve this.

We wish that the Dream will come true, and Yuliia and Yuriy Sanko will open a Christian Hospital in our beloved, strong Ukraine.

Bank details of Christian Charitable Foundation “Timosha’s Smile”:


PayPal: timoshas.smile@gmail.com

Current account:


5169 3305 2239 4722

P.S. Please pray for Ilyushka. ❤️


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