Two Year Old Sonya Needs Your Help

Paley Institute, St. Mary's Medical Center

  • $1.00

Sonya Vasenina, 2 years old, neurofibromatosis, pseudarthrosis of the left shin, in need of surgery. Pseudarthrosis is a bone fracture that has no chance of mending without intervention.

Sonya's story appeared on Channel One Russian Television.

"Sonya was born healthy. But a month later I noticed that her left leg was twisted. The pediatrician calmed me down: she assured me that it is a common occurrence for newborns, and that after a couple of months everything will return to normal. But when my daughter was three months old, she was diagnosed with a congenital false joint in the lower part of her left shin. This means that the bone was formed incorrectly, and became mobile at the position of curvature. Soon, Sonya was diagnosed with the cause of this bone pathology: neurofibromatosis. Moreover, with this disease, benign tumors are formed that damage the bones and internal organs. The doctor warned that this disease is rare and complicated to treat.

When at the age of eleven months Sonya suffered her first fracture, it was an alarm call for me. I went to the leading Russian orthopedic clinics. Everywhere, they offered almost the same treatments: the removal of the false joint, the implantation of splints or the stretching of the leg with a special apparatus. Nobody gave any guarantees that after the treatment the bones would grow together and there would be no fractures in the future. But they claimed that, in any case, her left leg will be shorter than the right and Sonya will have to use a leg brace for the rest of her life. And that meant that my daughter would inevitably become severely handicapped!

I had almost lost hope, but then I happened to see a New Year's story on the "Channel One" Russian TV station about Rusfond children, who were helped by TV viewers. Among them was also Yesenia Bykova, with a similar problem. She was cured by the American pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dror Paley. I sent him Sonya’s medical files. Dr. Paley suggested a completely different treatment, after which, he assured me, Sonya would be able to grow normally and live a full life. However, the price of this surgery is more than one hundred thousand dollars. I am raising my daughter alone, Sonya’s father is not interested in her life and does not help out financially. I am not able to raise such an enormous amount of money by myself. Please, help!" Kira Vasenina, Moscow region.


Dror Paley, orthopedic surgeon at St. Mary’s Hospital (West Palm Beach, Florida, USA): “Sonya has neurofibromatosis, because of which a false joint was formed in her left shin. My technique does not require its removal. We will just remove the pathological tissue that is damaging the bone. Then, to strengthen the bones, we will install special movable rods in them. From her own bone tissue, an autograft will be performed for further strengthening of the tibia and fibular bones. We carry out such surgeries for children starting from one year old. This technique helps prevent problems such as fractures, leg length differences, and knee and foot deformities.”

Sonya Vasenina’s treatment costs $103,513. We are happy to report that Rusfond in Moscow has raised the entire amount needed. However, an additional $23,600 is required for her and her mother's flights, housing assistance, food, local transportation, additional and/or emergency medical services, and other associated expenses for the duration of their stay in the USA, which is expected to last at least four months.

If you want to help Sonya please don't let the high price tag stop you. Your donations of any amount will be accepted with gratitude. You can contribute to the Russian American Children's Foundation using a Credit Card, Apple Pay, PayPal, or by sending a check made payable to:

Russian American Children's Foundation 
420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 300 
New York, NY 10170 

Thank you! All donations in excess of what is needed for Sonya will help other children in need. 


All of the funds needed for Sonya's care have been raised. Sonya was successfully operated at St. Mary’s hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida.