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Faces of The Fellowship: Alla

Faces of The Fellowship: Alla (photo: JDC/Vladimir Shraga)

Alla, 69, can barely move. Her hands shake from Parkinson’s disease and her feet and legs are covered with painful, itchy blisters due to Duhring Disease, a rare, chronic skin disorder. Despite the fact that she is in constant pain and has not left her house in over six years, Alla remains upbeat and positive.

Alla has always been determined to remain positive. As a child growing up in a shack in one of Kiev’s poorer neighborhoods, Alla never focused on her family’s poverty. Instead, she recalls the warmth of Jewish traditions and the simple pleasures she and her friends could afford, such as ice cream or trips to the cinema.

“Fight to the last drop of blood. That’s my motto,” Alla explains.

Today, Alla continues to remain positive thanks to The Fellowship. Because she suffers from a complicated medical condition and also cared for her elderly father until his death, Alla never married or had children.

With no family to help care for her, Alla is both dependent on, and grateful for, The Fellowship’s help. “To tell the truth, I couldn’t get along without The Fellowship,” Alla admits.

As she can no longer leave her house, Alla depends on her Fellowship-supported Hesed homecare worker, not only for physical assistance but also for company and emotional strength. The Fellowship also provided her with a cane, and Fellowship-supported Hesed purchased a new refrigerator for her last spring.

Alla began showing signs of Parkinson’s disease while still in her teens, so she never attended college. She does have a pension from her years of work for the Kiev postal system, but nearly all of it is spent paying her utility bills. The costs for utilities continue to rise each year.

Thankfully, The Fellowship also provides Alla with a bank card for food, medicine, and hygienic products. In the winter, the Fellowship-supported Hesed helps Alla cover the cost of her heating bill, which is far too much for Alla to pay on her own.

Alla knows the world can be a hopeful and positive place, especially with friends like The Fellowship to help the needy through their difficulties. She feels so blessed knowing she has friends around the world who want to help her every day.

Learn how you can help impoverished elderly like Alla receive the lifesaving care they desperately need.

And help us keep impoverished elderly people, including Holocaust survivors, warm this winter by supporting our Operation Winter Warmth project!

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