Ukraine Teen Gets Transplant Thanks to Spencer, IA Community
Getting a transplant means being put on a waiting list here in the United States. But if you're from another country, you don't have that option. Thanks to the community of Spencer, Iowa, a Ukraine teen will live because of it’s support.
Bo Kiyanchuk is taking one of his 40 daily meds. It may sound like this 16-year old is very sick... but he's actually doing quite well for the first time in his life... thanks to Doctor Ken Hunziker and his wife, Karen.
Karen Hunziker, "It's unbelievable, he eats so much food. I bought some cookies last week, he ate a whole package in one day."
Dr. Hunziker first met Bo in 2001 while doing Medical Mission work in Ukraine.
Dr. Ken Hunziker, "You have a child here who needs help and it's not available in his country and after seeing him and going to his village, and meeting his family, there's quite an attachment that builds up."
Bo went through surgery when he was only 8 in the Ukraine. Doctors there removed one of his kidneys. Four years later when he met Dr. Hunziker, his other kidney was starting to fail.
Dr. Ken Hunzkier, "He was either going to need dialysis or a transplant or he wasn't going to live much longer."
In 2002 Bo had surgery at Mayo Clinic to try to maintain the one kidney's function.
Dr. Ken Hunzkier, "We knew at the time that it was going to preserve the function of his remaining kidney for a period of time. We didn't know how long, we hoped the longer, the better. And it lasted 5 years."
Then, the search began for an organ donor.
Dr. Ken Hunzkier, "He does not qualify as a transplant recipient in America because he is not a citizen."
So the search turned to his 6 siblings. His sister Oksana turned out to be a perfect match.
Dr. Ken Hunzkier, "She felt this was something she knew she had to do or her brother would not live and so she felt compelled to do it even though she was very fearful."
And so, last month, Bo and Oksana both had surgery. Oksana to give one of her kidneys to her little brother, Bo. The surgery was a success, but now Bo must take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life.
Dr. Ken Hunzkier, "One of the drugs is 9-thousand dollars for 6 months."
That is why the community of Spencer has rallied behind Bo. So far 38-thousand dollars has been raised to help Bo pay for his medication.
Bo Kiyanchuk, "Thank you to Spencer so much, appreciate it."
Karen Hunzkier, "I just always want to be there for him and I want him to get a good education and just be part of our family."
And if Bo can get his Visa extended, he plans to stay in the U.S. for as long as he can to get the proper medical attention doctors say he needs.
The Knights of Columbus in Spencer, Iowa will hold a benefit breakfast for Bo.
That’ll be on February 10th from 7:30 until one in the afternoon.
Photographer Juergen Teller will present his recent body of work Ukraine, for his fourth exhibition at Lehmann Maupin Gallery. Teller was commissioned, along with four other artists, by the PinchukArtCentre to interpret the Ukraine for the 52nd International Venice Biennale 2007, where a selection from this series was first shown. This exhibition marks the first time, an expanded version, along with other new works, will be shown in the United States.
Miss Ukraine to Host Chert Poberi Café First Special Night
Miss Ukraine 2007, Lika Roman will be the guest of honor for the opening night of Chert Poberi Special Event Nights(Ch.P.Nights), www.ChertPoberi.com with the support of Beauty in You non-for-profit organization. The opening promises to be a momentous occasion for the Russian speaking community in Brooklyn, as it will establish a new way for people to socialize and spend time together. The event will take place at Chert Poberi Café, 1664 Sheepshead Bay Road in Brooklyn, NY, on Tuesday, February 5th at 7PM.