Friday, January 29, 2010

Ilze and Janis

PHOTODONATION: Andrejs Strokins

We visited 2 families in Stelpe already in previous year.
Me, photographer Andrejs Strokins and Ilona, who was voluntary to help us, went on beautiful, but hard way along snowy roads.
At first, we visited Ilze and Jānis. They are twins. Already grown-ups -16 year old, however their lifestory and experiences are so strong, that we want to help as much as we can.
The mother of both twins is a woman full of energy. She has fought for health of both twins already from their childhood. Both children were diagnosed with infantile cerebral palsy at the age of 4. In period of growing, more problems occured – deformed feet, deformed legs, one leg a bit shorter than the other one, hence difficulties to walk, problems with knees.
Jānis prefers to go to school by feet, rather than show his classmates that he can’t get into the bus. Jānis uprises on hands sometimes, because he can’t do it otherwise – it hurts awfully. Ilze have problems with big toes of legs, she has flatfoot.
Jāns is passionate for ice hockey, football, skiing, however if he participates in these activities, afterwards he needs to sleep and rest a long time. Ilze is good at drawing, she shows her drawings to our pleasure, and we receive one of drawings as a present.
A medical surgery for one leg is set for both kids on 1st February, mother and teenagers hope that it will get better. Rehabilitation is intended after the surgery and it needs resources. The second medical surgery is planned to happen in summer. Everything takes place at the same time for both, says mom.
All this trouble would be a half-trouble, if only mom’s car was in order, without it it is practically impossible to dispense. If there were a car, a job, because in local village it is impossible to find a job, and it is impossible to drive all the time to/from nearest cities, because public transport here is rare.
With tears in her eyes, mother tells that she has never thought that there would be such situation, that she won’t be able to help her children, won’t be able to maintain them. She is a healthy woman, she has arms and legs! If ‘Golf’ worked again, mother would drive her kids to school, to doctors, and would find a job for herself.
She has done everything, gave all the articles of goldsmiths and lap-top computer to Lombard.
They spent a week near candles, because electricity was disabled. From allowance money, that is 140 LVL for both children – (disability allowance) + 50 LVL alimony from father + 80 LVL poorly-provided allowance = 270 LVL, from which 100 LVL must be payed for home loans. What is left over? 3 people have to live whole month with these resources. It happens sometimes that fridge is empty for several days...
Photographer wants to take pictures of teenagers in beautiful, white snowbanks, and I see how hard it is for Jānis to move, how he is trying to not to show that it hurts on every step he takes.
When it is time for our farewell, Ilona gives Ilze her warm winter boots as present, about which girl doesn’t show any emotions when we are there, but later mother sents message to us, which says that Ilze is incredibly happy, that she won’t need to freeze her legs anymore.
With taking presents with me, I visited these young people on Christmas morning, and hearing ‘Silent night, holy night’ in their performance I have tears in my eyes, because of wish of these kids to be like ohers, to run together with others and to take from life everything it gives.

We can help:

- to undergo a rehabiliation course after the surgery
- to help mother to repair the car
- to provide winter tires for ‘VW Golf’
- clothes, shoes for teenagers (especially winter)’
- to provide food
- Ilze (16 years) 170 cm, size 37/38
- Jānis (16 years) 170 cm, size 39/40

Let’s help!

Huge thanks to the angels of Ilze and Jānis:
Linda un Raitis Zalīši - LVL 50,- (23.12.09.)
Gunta Salmane - LVL 35,- (07.01.10.)
Ilva Utāne - LVL 50,- (20.01.10.)
Aigars Rozentāls - LVL 10,- (27.01.10.)
Dace Breice - LVL 10,- (10.02.10.)

You have a chance to donate 1 Ls
by calling to:90006888
Operations for both young men are made. They are learning to walk on crutches. Mum says that they are very happy that they can undergo a cure and be healthy. Let us keep our fingers crossed for a good success! And let us donate the money for the rehabilitation.
A message from the mum of Jānis and Ilze: We are successfully home for a day already. The doctor said that the operations were more successful than it as expected. For a week both young men have the confinement to bed, after three weeks the gyps will be replaced to a new one, such regime will be for 2 more months. For the time being all has to heal, about the rehabilitation it will be possible to think after that. Kind greetings from all of us.

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