“It is very difficult for children to go somewhere in the middle of the night and sit in the basement for a long time,” said Nadia Kryminec as she held her granddaughter, whose sweet-natured smiles gave no hint of the ordeal she has endured. “We were told that she was in stable condition and we should try to go. Otherwise, she is simply doomed to death,” the grandmother said.

Twenty-two-month-old Yeva Vakulenko had been through four rounds of chemotherapy for leukemia at a hospital in Ukraine, and then suffered a relapse. As she began returning once again for more treatment, Russia invaded, disrupting doctors’ efforts to cure her.

Air raids forced the toddler to shelter in a basement for hours at a time, making her feel even worse. She cried a lot and sought comfort from her grandmother, who is caring for her after her parents were in an accident that left her mother disabled with brain and leg injuries.

So when doctors told Yeva’s grandmother that they could evacuate to Poland, she seized the chance.

“It is very difficult for children to go somewhere in the middle of the night and sit in the basement for a long time,” said Nadia Kryminec as she held her granddaughter, whose sweet-natured smiles gave no hint of the ordeal she has endured.

“We were told that she was in stable condition and we should try to go. Otherwise, she is simply doomed to death,” the grandmother said.

The little girl, who her grandmother says is intelligent and understands everything, is one of more than 500 Ukrainian children with cancer who have been evacuated to a clinic in Poland. Doctors then place them in one of some 200 hospitals in 28 countries.

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