Over €60,000 has been raised for a five-year-old Ukrainian boy with leukaemia who was forced to flee to Ireland after the Russian invasion.
eonid Shapoval was diagnosed with cancer last July and had been receiving chemotherapy in a children’s hospital in Kyiv for several weeks.
He was due to undergo another session of chemotherapy in Kyiv before receiving a bone marrow transplant later this month.
Last Thursday, doctors urged Leonid’s parents, Yana and Serhiy, to leave Ukraine immediately and seek help somewhere abroad because of the impending Russian invasion.
They have since been informed that the hospital where Leonid was receiving treatment has been bombed by Russian forces.
The family travelled to the Ukrainian-Polish border, before driving to Warsaw and flying to Zurich, Switzerland.
They arrived in Dublin Airport on Monday afternoon and travelled to the home of Leonid’s great aunt, Victoria Walden, who lives in Ballydehob, west Cork.
Leonid is now safe and undergoing a series of tests at the Mercy University Hospital in Cork.
A GoFundMe page was set up by Leonid’s cousin, Alexander Walden, to help pay for the young boy’s medical expenses in Ireland.
More than 1,800 people have donated over €60,786 to the fundraiser since it was set up on Monday.
Speaking to RTÉ News, Leonid's family said they are overwhelmed and amazed by the response, expressing their gratitude to the people of Ireland.
“It's absolutely amazing - the Irish nation is the best,” Leonid’s great aunt Victoria said.
“We are amazed by the whole thing. We were talking earlier about the response. It has been incredible.”
Her husband David gave an update on Leonid’s condition, saying that his hospital test results have been positive so far.
He said: “Everything is under control. All his vital signs are good. He hasn't deteriorated in any way since he left hospital in Ukraine. He's level with where he was, so it's all good.”
Donations can be made to the cause here.
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