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Little Paraskevi requires surgery to save her eyesight. Photo: Courtesy of Hope for Life
NEW YORK – If it were your child, would you let him or her go blind? Let’s close our eyes for a moment and enter the darkness, to understand the drama of a little girl, who is in danger of losing her sight forever, if money is not raised soon for her operation.
This heartbreaking message is sent to everyone by the Hope for Life charity organization with statements by its president, Irene Drakopoulos, to The National Herald.
Paraskevi Theodorou, a 14-year-old girl from Greece, will be in Los Angeles on March 15. The doctors of the well-known Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles-Doheny Eye Institute, which specializes in operations for complex childhood retinal diseases, are waiting for her.
The cost of the operation is estimated at $103,000, but the insurance only covers $17,500, as a result of which the family of the little girl is in despair to cover the expenses.
“Let’s open the door of our hearts to help little Paraskevoula who urgently needs an operation to regain her sight,” appealed Ms Drakopoulos, who was contacted by the patient’s father, Apostolos Theodorou. “The hospital expenses are high and the girl’s parents are already broke. They can’t afford it. In their pain, they think the worst. And on top of this drama, comes the financial cost. Tired and desperate, therefore, they are seeking help from the public.”
According to the latest medical opinion in Greece, Paraskevi’s case cannot be treated in her hometown, because there is no specialized medical center for this type of condition.
Those who want to help out can send a check to Hope For Life, Post Office Box 6156, Long Island City, New York 11106. The check can be made out to Hope For Life, and the note should say for Paraskevi Theodorou. Also, anyone interested in more information about the little patient can call: 718-956-7559.
The Hope for Life organization encountered many human dramas in its 23 years of operation, but also found the philanthropic feelings of the community. “I really believe that there are people who shout with all their being, ‘We are here, for you,’ people known and unknown, who offer from their surfeit so that some others can continue to hope. For little Paraskevi, let us all be the hope and the miracle,” emphasized Drakopoulos. “Many of those who have sought the help of our organization from time to time have had, with God’s help, good results in medical cases. Our greatest reward all these years, are the cases of children, and also older ones, who won the battle of their lives. I will never forget all the kindness we have received in the 23 years of operation of our organization from the families that have been helped, while we, for our part, are deeply moved. These simple, suffering people touched our souls deeply.”
The charitable organization Hope for Life was founded in July 2000 and up to today, with the support of the community, it has helped many people, young and old, men and women, from the community and the homeland, with health problems and other needs. It relies on various expatriates for donations, while its members themselves contribute money. From time to time, it also organizes luncheons and other events to raise money for people in need.
In the case of little Paraskevi Theodorou, an expatriate businessman from Brooklyn, NY, Kostas Tsichlis, who has been a supporter of the organization for years, already offered his financial help. In recent years, his son, Ilias, has continued his support for the organization.
“Mr. Tsichlis is always by our side, helping with the needs of our fellow human beings,” said Drakopoulos. “In fact, he has offered a furnished apartment from the family’s Brooklyn property for our organization to make available to people with special needs. We will always be grateful.”
Drakopoulos noted that help to little Paraskevi is an urgent need. “It’s time to do something great,” she said. “Think how beautiful our world would be if we could all contribute even a little in such cases. Think how beautiful everything around us would become, from this small contribution of ours to turn a child’s cry into balm and medicine.”
TORONTO – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada, on behalf of the Greek-Canadian Heritage Museum Planning Committee, is requesting historical photos from the Greek and Cypriot Diaspora across Canada for possible inclusion in the Museum.
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