All of Belarus knows about 13 year old Volodya Borovskih from watching Russian TV news. Three years ago, he was diagnosed with a rare encephaloma on which chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been unsuccessful; he needs an allomyelo-transplant. Surgeons from Moscow and St. Petersburg have refused to perform this very difficult operation — asking for $50,000 (a sum that his family cannot afford) or asking him to wait for three or four years. Volodya’s mother, Natalia Alekseevna, says, “The famous actress — Chulpan Hamatova — tried to help us as have well-known politicians — but in vain.”
His last hope is the Belarusian Scientific and Practical Centre for Children’s Oncology and Haematology (BSPC). When Natalia phoned there they stated their readiness to help and the family flew straight to Minsk. I met them at the centre at Borovlyany; Volodya played at the table and told me he wanted to recover so that he could go to discos and play football — his passions. The doctors say that his treatment should last about three months. Haematologist Natalia Borisevich informs us that it is too early to make any prognosis.