Dr. Zenon Matkiwsky, CCRDF President and Chairman
"CCRDF allocates limited resources in such a way that we can help and save as many children as possible. Our commitment is to provide doctors in Ukraine and hospitals with the tools they need to combat the cancers and birth defects that we are seeing on a daily basis, to improve survival rates, to reduce infant mortality and to correct as many birth defects as possible so that as many Chornobyl children as possible can lead a normal life, without long-term disability.
We also want to minimize Chornobyl’s impact and its death toll and we strive to do this through physician training and through an infusion of aid that we hope will establish a higher standard of care. We want to stimulate an overhaul of the medical system that Ukraine so desperately needs."
Excerpt from the speech delivered by Dr. Zenon Matkiwsky in Kyiv, Ukraine at the 20th Anniversary International Conference dedicated to the aftermath of the Chornobyl catastrophe, as a rebuttal to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Chornobyl Forum resolution of September 2005. April 24, 2006
“Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund is an exceptional organization; each individual involved in its work has a big heart and shows genuine compassion for other people’s problems by doing all they can to help. Words cannot express my gratitude for saving the life of my daughter Mariyka and the continuous support. Especially, I thank Dr. Oleg Korniychuk, the head of NICU department at the Kyiv City Children’s Hospital #2, and his team who fought for my child’s life in the most critical time. CCRDF’s close cooperation with the hospital continues and that allowed Dr. Korniychuk to help newborns with the most serious health conditions. By providing comprehensive help to children and mothers, CCRDF fulfils a great mission. I wish continuous success to CCRDF in their noble work.” June, 2010
“I will not exaggerate if I say that CCRDF facilitated the development of neonatology in Ukraine. Since 1999, it was practicing physicians in Ukraine and CCRDF who created neonatology as a branch of healthcare here.”
And concerning his opinion on charitable work, he states: “If I had to establish a medical humanitarian organization myself, I would still stick to neonatology and pediatrics because there is still so much to do and the state cannot handle the need without the help of NGOs.” Expressed during an interview given in 2009
“During my visit to the Chernihiv Maternity Hospital, I was deeply impressed by the effectiveness and professionalism of your organization.” Stated in a personal letter to CCRDF Founders Dr. and Mrs. Matkiwsky; June 2, 2006
“Based on its extensive track record, I believe that the Children of Chornobyl Relief Fund is in an excellent position to deliver medication to this region. With its network of bilingual US physicians, the Fund may well have more expertise than virtually any other private voluntary group that might be assigned to handle this problem… The Fund has delivered more than 25 million dollars’ worth of aid, on a total income of 1.6 million. I would like to see more USAID grantees achieve this sort of multiplier effect in their procurement programs, on such minimal overhead costs.” April 28, 1995.
“Here the signs of Western aid are present everywhere and so are its results. When other hospitals give up on their young patients, they send them here. This hospital is their last hope, and in many cases it is their best one; quite possibly, this is the finest hospital in the former Soviet Union.” August 20, 1992 in a feature story on CCRDF, reporting from the Lviv Pediatric Medical Center in Western Ukraine
“I believe in the work that has to be done by CCRDF. I know of the great need to help the medical sector in Ukraine. I know that the hospitals are constantly seeking better and more equipment. I know that the doctors’ hands need to be filled with the proper medical supplies to help their patients. I know of the parents’ pleas to help their suffering children. And, as a parent expecting her 2nd child, I can imagine the relief to know that my children can be treated because the equipment, supplies, and medicines exist in the hospitals. This is what CCRDF has been accomplishing over the past 20 years – infusing their partner hospitals with equipment donations to help children in need – and their mission, thankfully, is not ceasing.” Segment of her acceptance speech upon receiving the 2010 CCRDF Distinguished Achievement Award for her role as an Ambassador of Goodwill for promoting CCRDF’s medical mission
“When I worked for CCRDF, I traveled to the Fund’s partner hospitals, visited with the staff, and spoke with the patients. I recall one hospital in particular that relied on an old respirator, repaired with parts from other machines, to provide ventilation to their infant patients. I asked what happens when they have multiple patients, and the doctor replied, 'We choose.' Can you imagine how it must feel to the mother who is told that her baby was not chosen to be saved? The doctors and nurses in Ukraine are so talented – they have done so much with so little. Imagine how many lives they could save if they could be provided with ample supplies and state-of-the-art equipment! CCRDF delivers that hope – and I have witnessed first-hand the life-saving difference it has made for families in Ukraine. I continue to support this organization, and I encourage everyone to dedicate your charitable contributions to CCRDF.” May, 2010
There is so much interest that they [medical conference participants] soak it [information] up like sponges. The passion and desire for this knowledge is incredible.” Stated as the featured speaker during CCRDF’s nursing conference; June, 2007
“I want to challenge the international medical community to come to Kyiv, to Vynnytsia, to Chernihiv. To take a look at the babies lying in the neonatal intensive care units established by CCRF. Look into the glare of the infant warmers and under the photo-therapeutic lamps and see what kinds of babies are being born in the aftermath of Chornobyl. Take a look in the orphanages and the pediatric cancer centers where children are being treated for tumors and conditions that are virtually unheard of in the West.” Stated at a CCRF Fundraiser on April 19, 1999
“Our Club exists to help those less fortunate. There can be no greater example of that than a newborn infant who needs the breathing support of equipment like the SiPAP. We are glad that once again our friends at CCRDF have helped us to make effective use of the monies we raise in such a direct way – by identifying this need and recommending this donation.” Stated during a press conference in 2008
“Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund has developed an impressive track record in combating the disastrous effects of the Chornobyl accident, and in upgrading the quality of care in many Ukrainian medical institutions.” Written in a joint letter with Congressman John Edwards Porter (R-Illinois); April 28, 1994
“CCRDF has a long history of working in Ukraine to support the victims of Chornobyl and is the most experienced and competent U.S. NGO (nongovernmental organization) working in this area.” Written in a letter to then newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor, 2006
"In twenty years of dedicated work, Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund’s programs have substantially improved the standard of care in neonatal intensive care units and pediatric oncology wards at CCRDF partner hospitals throughout Ukraine. Additionally, the commitment to establishing centers of excellence in partner hospitals by dedicated CCRDF staff and volunteers has set a high standard for other medical charities working in Ukraine. CCRDF has continuously achieved its mission of saving children’s lives throughout Ukraine, while exponentially escalating their targeted goals. This has been made possible by a very professional execution of medical programs and significant support from government leaders, corporations, foundations, and private donors." July, 2010