Ukraine: One Family’s Personal Crisis

In the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the Tikich family — Leonid, Elena, and their daughter Marianna —  is struggling with the economic impact of the ongoing crisis. First, Leonid was furloughed from his airport job indefinitely — the family’s sole income.

Then, the unthinkable happened: fourteen year old Marianna suffered a sudden stroke.

Marianna Tikich

It turns out that happy, seemingly healthy Marianna suffered from recurrent cardiomyopathy — a weakening of the heart muscle.

When Leonid and Elena found themselves unable to pay for their daughter’s growing medical expenses, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s partner on the ground in Ukraine, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) stepped in via their program Jewish Family Service (JFS) . Luckily, amid the crisis and subsequent closing of many Ukraine organizations, JDC and JFS have continued regular operations, allowing JFS to pay for Marianna’s medicines and heart and brain ultrasounds.

Thanks to JDC, Marianna is getting the help she and her family desperately need. In addition to the medical bills, JFS has provided the family with a food card to use at the local supermarket and critical winter clothes.

Marianna is just one of thousands of the most vulnerable Ukrainian Jews our global partners JDC and The Jewish Agency for Israel are committed to assisting – during crises and during quiet times. But for the Tikich family, our support can mean the difference between life and death.

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