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This fundraiser ended on 11/30/12

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medical expense

Dear Friends,

We are organizing a campaign for our dear friend, Yulia, who is desperately in need of a medical treatment in Germany. Please take a moment to read about the life achievements of an amazing woman, a dedicated scientist and activist.

In 1989 Yulia graduated in geophysics from the School of Mines in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Shortly after she took an opportunity to work in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, where she was employed with state geophysical organizations from 1989-1995. Beginning in 1997 after having witnessed firsthand the kinds of environmental degradation facing local communities in Kazakhstan, Yulia became a founding member of a renowned NGO in Karaganda, EcoMuseum. For nearly twenty years EcoMuseum has been at the forefront of environmental science, community outreach, fundraising, and legal battles in order to curtail the wholesale pollution of Kazakhstan. With Yulia’s hard work and dedication EcoMuseum has implemented more than 40 funded projects aimed at protecting Kazakhstan’s water sources from unchecked industrial manufacturing and a booming energy sector. Yulia has been instrumental in bringing bio-gas technology to rural areas in Kazakhstan and is an acting project manager for the first bio-gas plant. As a guiding principle, she always encourages people to be aware and become involved socially and politically with their environment.

One of her greatest contributions to the environmental movement in Kazakhstan was the implementation of a multi-year public campaign called The Clean River Project. The Clean River Project was designed in order to protect Kazakhstan’s rivers from industrial pollution and to safeguard people’s environmental rights. The project’s activity took place in the most polluted zones of local rivers, including along the banks of the river Nura poisoned by extremely high concentrations of Mercury. In order to draw attention to the Mercury problem, Yulia repeatedly visited illegal dumps of industrial and municipal waste, fighting for people’s rights to live in a non-toxic environment.

Yulia is no longer able to do her work, as her body is slowly deteriorating. For the past three years Yulia has suffered from an unknown disease (at least here in Kazakhstan the doctors have not been able to diagnose her disease) that has left her incapacitated, unable to walk or move her hands. It seems that something is causing her blood not to circulate properly causing her extremities to rot. Internet sources indicate mercury may cause symptoms like the ones she is experiencing. She has furthermore been abused by the medical system in Kazahstan and should rightly be called a victim. Yulia must be treated abroad. This past summer she underwent an amputation of four toes on both of her feet because doctors could do nothing else for her. Under the guidance of undertrained and negligent anesthesiologists, Yulia stirred awake during her procedure and complained of horrific pain. She was called a complainer and was told that she wasn’t feeling anything. Her pain was carelessly managed during her “recovery” period in the Karaganda hospital, where unable to walk, she was told to make her own way to the bathroom. There was only one wheel chair on her floor—reserved for those who had undergone whole leg amputations, the staff at the hospital told her she didn’t need it as much as they did. She was given no painkillers, food, or care. We (her husband and NGO friends) had to be in the hospital day and night in order to care for her. Next to Yulia, in another bed, was a woman who screamed in pain for three days and three nights—we all helplessly watched her die. Yulia was forbidden to leave the hospital for two weeks less she forfeit future medical assistance by going against doctor’s orders. Her symptoms have not abated, although she can painfully walk. At this moment, she is likely to bemoan her medical experience in Kazakhstan more than her disease, however, only the latter is treatable at the present time, at least we hope. We are asking for donations to help Yulia with travel and medical costs. We have found a doctor in Germany who is willing to help, but can’t do anything until she arrives. Any small donation counts.

Her husband, daughter, grandson, EcoMuseum NGO in Karaganda and the people of Kazakhstan’s toxic communities need her. Please help. We need $5000 to get Yulia to Germany and have her treated.


If you donate money on this site, our colleague will collect the donations on our behalf in the United States. Because Kazakhstan is an authoritarian post-Soviet state, we cannot have links to Western banks, money transfers, paypal, etc. Our German friend, Tilmann Dieterich, also set up a Pay Pal account: Again, we thank you!

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