LINGUIST List 9.1660

Sun Nov 22 1998

FYI: Help a colleague--Natasha Gagarina

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  1. E. Wayles Browne, Help a colleague--Natasha Gagarina

Message 1: Help a colleague--Natasha Gagarina

Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 19:03:36 -0400
From: E. Wayles Browne <ewb2cornell.edu>
Subject: Help a colleague--Natasha Gagarina

[Moderators' Note: LINGUIST has a policy of not posting appeals,
because of the large number of them that appear on the Web, and the
possibility of detracting from our main purpose. This situation,
however, is so unique and so clearly involves a fellow member of the
profession, that we have decided that we are simply going to violate
our own policies. The message from E. Wayles Browne of Cornell
follows.]

 ***************************

Please help Toni Gagarin (8), Natasha Gagarina's son

Our Russian colleague Natasha Gagarina from St.
Petersburg (Herzen Pedagogical University, Dept. of
Child Language Studies) urgently needs help to save
the life of her son Anton (Toni), aged 8.

At the beginning of August 98, during their summer
holiday stay in Russia, Toni was found to suffer from
acute leukemia (monoblastic bone marrow leukemia: AML,
type M5). Although Natasha & Toni had spent the last
academic year in Vienna, and were planning a stay in
Berlin (where Natasha was supposed to start a job
within a research project on child language), Toni's
state was so severe that he had to be hospitalized
immediately, that is in Russia. He was treated there
through August and September, taking massive
chemotherapy. At the same time the economic crisis in
Russia got into its most (?) dramatic phase, which
among other things meant no money for hospitals. Toni
had no chance to recover there.

At the beginning of October, thanks to the combined
efforts of several Natasha's friends and colleagues,
they both moved to Berlin. Toni's treatment was taken
over by the university clinic (Charite-Virchow
Clinic). He is treated partly on an ambulant (out-
patient) basis, partly in the children's hospital,
depending on how he feels and how his immune system
works in a given moment. However the treatment is
extremely expensive:

the ambulant treatment costs 848.- DM (= ca. $520) per
day
the stationary (in-hospital) treatment - 2.416,- DM (=
ca. $1490) per day.

So far, the therapy costs in Berlin have been in large
part covered by private donors from Vienna, Berlin and
other places.

Unfortunately, the money donated IS RUNNING OUT VERY
FAST.

There are some chances that a health insurance will
start to cover at least some part of these very high
therapy costs. But so far this is not decided, and the
child has to be treated.

On October 20 Magdalena Smoczynska from Cracow,
Poland, launched an appeal list to help Natasha and
Toni on info-childes bulletin-board. The call was
addressed to the international community of child
language researchers. Since then many of Natasha's
colleagues - child language researchers, linguists and
psycholinguists, as well as their friends - have
contributed to the help action, by sending donations
and/or providing their time, looking for helpful
information, and so on.

Money for Toni's treatment was collected at several
conferences, most recently at the Boston University
annual conference on Language Acquisition.

In this situation we urgently appeal to those of you
who can afford it to make donations in behalf of Toni.

There are several ways of sending in donations:

For most European countries:

There is an account of a charitable organisation in
Germany where donations can be made for him.

 Account holder: Kinderluftbruecke e.V.
 Bank: Haspa (= Hamburger Sparkasse)
 Account number: 1221-122300
 Routing symbol (Bankleitezahl): 20050550
 Code word: Toni
 PLEASE DO NOT FORGET THE CODE WORD!

The Kinderluftbruecke e.V. (Children's Air Bridge) is
a private foundation whose goal is to help children in
Russia. Their address is: Kinderluftbruecke e.V.
Brabantstrasse 59A, 22297 Hamburg tel. +49-40-5110154.

For those who will send money it is important 1. to
ask for a confirmation (receipt) and 2. to send an
email message to me <ulsmoczyvela.filg.uj.edu.pl>
stating the sum that has been paid, so that we know
the amount of money at Natasha's disposal. This is
what I was told by our German colleague Dagmar Bittner
<dabittzas.gwz-berlin.de> from the Zentrum fuer
Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Universalienforschung
und Typologie in Berlin, who helps Natasha on the
spot.

American donors:

our colleague Barbara Zurer Pearson agreed to be the
contact person in America. Checks can be sent to her:

Barbara Zurer Pearson, Ph.D.
Project Manager, NIH Working Group on AAE
Department of Communication Disorders
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
117 Arnold House
Amherst MA 01003
413-545-5023
fax 545-0803
bpearsoncomdis.umass.edu

Barbara Pearson says: "Make checks payable to BARBARA
PEARSON and include a note with your name, address and
phone, in case someone needs to contact you about it.
I will prepare receipts and forward the money (and an
accounting of it)". The money will be forwarded to the
Kinderluftbruecke, and by them to the clinic.
Barbara has worked on the issue of finding a way to
collect money on a tax-exempt account of an American
charity, but so far no charity has agreed to do so.

Italian donors
should get in touch with Giuseppe Cappelli from Pisa
<beppeilc.pi.cnr.it>
The account number is:
numero 7500 della Banca Nazionale del Lavoro
intestato a CRAL-CNR sezione Pisa
ABI 1005
Cabi 14000
Please add: "Versamento per le cure di Toni"

Please feel free to write to me about whatever you can
think of in relation to Natasha and Toni. My address
is <ulsmoczyvela.filg.uj.edu.pl>. Since I cannot help
Natasha & Toni with a lot of money, I am prepared to
give them my time in the coming weeks and months.

If you want to send a personal message for Natasha,
you can write to her directly
<gagarinazas.gwz-berlin.de>.


UPDATE, November 4, 1998

Thank you to all of you who made donations to the
Kinderluftbruecke. I visited Natasha & Anton in Berlin
last weekend, and they were going to start the next
phase of chemotherapy. The financial situation is not
yet clarified, therefore funds are still needed for
the child to continue the therapy.

Magdalena Smoczynska


UPDATE, November 14, 1998

Here is a letter from Natasha:

Dear Colleagues,

with this letter I would like to express my gratitude
to all of you who responded to the call of Magdalena
Smoczynska. Your attention and care brought us not
only financial support, but also more energy to
struggle and the feeling that there are people willing
to help us and that we are not alone.

Anton is getting now the block of consolidation
chemotherapy, after which he will get the X-ray
therapy. Then the question of further treatment would
be discussed. He feels now better than in St.
Petersburg and has each day some joy - Magdalena
brought him small presents, to be opened one per day,
for the next three months.

Unfortunately the treatment is not finished and we
know that Toni still has to overcome many
difficulties, but we hope very much he will recover
and be healthy again.

Thank you to all of you who did not pass by the call
for help Toni.

With the best wishes,

Natasha Gagarina



Dr. Magdalena Smoczynska
Dept. of General and Indoeuropean Linguistics
Jagiellonian University
Al. Mickiewicza 9/11
31-120 Krakow, Poland
tel. +(48) (12) 6336377 ext. 302
fax. +(48) (12) 4226793
home +(48) (12) 6341037
ulsmoczyvela.filg.uj.edu.pl

[forwarded at Dr. Smoczynska's request
by: Wayles Browne, Cornell University, ewb2cornell.edu]
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