The Chernobyl Fund

Volume 1 Issue 1 September 1996

Premier Edition

Dear Friends and Contributors,

This is our first newsletter and is being sent to all those who so generously contributed to The Chernobyl Fund. We are sending you two copies of the newsletter. Please give one to an interested friend.

More detailed information about our work including photographs is available on the World Wide Web at:

Please be sure to read The Chernobyl Reconnaissance by Maurice Frohn which describes our visit to the Chernigev in April 1996.

Your prayers and support are deeply appreciated,

Victor Kubik

Ten Ton Container of Humanitarian Aid Arrives in Chernigev, Ukraine

The first container of life-sustaining medicine and food that we packed and sent to Ukraine from St. Paul, Minnesota on July 18th arrived safely in Chernigev, Ukraine on Friday, August 30th. Chernigev is a city of 320,000 which lies 40 miles east of the ill-fated Chernobyl nuclear power station.

On Thursday, September 12 my sister Lydia Bauer and I both spoke with Dr. Vasyl Pasechnik who directs new Children's rehabilitation center called "Revival." He updated us on the arrival of the 20 foot ten ton container. Here are highlights of his discussions with us.

Customs has now released most of the items that we shipped.

All medicines purchased by The Chernobyl Fund (levothyroxine sodium, children's vitamins, cephafexin, erythromycin suspension, children's liquid aceteminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and cough formula) were received. These items were within 18 months of expiration date. Customs released it all.

Most medicine which were expired (mostly samples) are being held by the central pharmacy commission. Although our consulting physicians and pharmacists told us they were still effective, they probably won't be released to Dr. Vasyl Pasechnik.

All hospital supplies were received without any problems in customs. This included supplies such as surgical packs, linens, exam gloves, suture, surgical blades, disposable syringes, bandages, and IV kits. Therapeutic toys and art supplies which were almost non-existent in the center were provided in generous quantities. They were happy and excited to receive these items.

Although some products were disallowed by Ukrainian Customs, no great financial loss or loss of product was sustained. The disallowed items represented less than two percent of the value of the shipment. The best vitamins, antibiotics and supplies got through.

All 233 boxes of clothing were received. Dr. Pasechnik is organizing a general distribution of clothing those in need.

Lydia Bauer is leaving for Ukraine on October 16 and plans to visit Chernigev. She is in the process of trying to arrange donated cargo space from the airline she is traveling on. She will bring several sorely-needed items with her. Dr. Vasyl Pasechnik told us that they really need soy-based formula for children, children's epilepsy medicine and medication for central nervous system disorders.

We need your help to continue helping the children of Chernigev who are still being affected by the radiation. Our fund as of September 16th stands at only $231.70. We are able to leverage your donation many times over by purchasing medicine at ten percent of cost. Also, because of our efforts others join in to help fill the container. The Chernobyl Fund actually contributed only $1526.30 to this massive effort. Your tax-deductible donation will go a long way to bring needed medicine and proper food to this area of need.

In the United States you can make a tax-deductible contribution payable to THE CHERNOBYL FUND. Please mail your donation to:

The Chernobyl Fund P. O. Box 476 Greencastle, IN 46135

In the United Kingdom, you can send your donation to:

Chernobyl Childrens' Account c/o The Manager Lloyds Bank 6 High Street Tenterden, Kent England TN30 6AJ

Story of Shipping The First Container

We loaded our first container shipment for Ukraine Wednesday evening, July 17th. A dozen helpers gathered at Lydia Kubik-Bauer's home in St. Paul, Minnesota where a twenty foot container was dropped off the previous day. We are very pleased to ship 584 boxes weighing ten tons valued at $130,000 on this shipment!

The container was picked the next day went on it's way by train and ship to Chernigev. The route: St. Paul, MN/Port Elizabeth, NJ/Amsterdam/Odessa/Chernigev.

Operation Support Freedom works in cooperation with churches and relief agencies. The State Department has just agreed to continue this program after Ukraine agreed to disarm its last nuclear warheads as of June 1. The government pays for the shipping and guarantees that it arrives to the intended recipients. On these shipments Maurice Frohn and I personally vouch for the integrity of the personnel and institutions receiving this aid. What we load must be life-sustaining aid consisting of medicine and clothing.

This was a team effort and credit needs to be given to all who made this shipment possible.

First, thanks goes to my sister Lydia whose home has been disrupted as the collection point for hundreds of boxes. Thanks, Mary Sandmann, of Compassion Humanitarian Relief for connecting with Operation Support Freedom and acquiring the container and arranging with the US Government to ship it to the other side of the world. The shipping cost that the government pays amount to at least $7,000.

Thanks to Yevgeniy Yevtikhov who spent two weeks inventorying, packing and labeling boxes so that all our loading group had to do was to simply get them loaded on the container. We thank Robin and John Appelgate of Compassion Humanitarian Relief who acquired large amounts of food for this shipment. We appreciate the efforts of Epiphany Catholic Church in Coon Rapids, Minnesota for their generous donations of clothing.

Many of the clothes were provided by a southern Minnesota relief agency that ships regularly to Guatemala. A major food producer donated large quantities of cereal. Twenty-three area hospitals and clinics donated equipment and medicine. An international aid organization supplied us with the medicines we purchased. Private individuals also donated to this cause.

The United Church of God in Minneapolis donated over $2200 in children's therapeutic supplies for Revival Children's Rehabilitation Center in Chernigev. They also provided most of the labor for final packing of the container. Finally, we want to thank Family Umbrella Network for their promotion and support of The Chernobyl Fund.

The Chernobyl Fund

The purpose of The Chernobyl Fund is to help children affected by radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 26, 1986. Maurice Frohn and I are coordinating efforts around the world to bring medication and food to the Chernigev Revival Children's Rehabilitation Center directed by Dr. Vasyl Pasechnik. Maurice Frohn MB (Lond) FRCS (Eng) is a Consultant Surgeon specializing in abdominal and thyroid surgery. We are also helping Children's Polyclinic No. 2 in Chernigev.

Please join us in efforts to help children who have been affected by the radiation. On August 30, 1996 the first shipment of life-sustaining humanitarian aid arrived in Chernigev through the generous donations of people like yourself. Your continued help would be greatly appreciated. The Chernobyl Fund operates as a 501 (c) (3) organization under the Family Umbrella Network which means that all contributions toThe Chernobyl Fund are completely tax-deductible in the United States.

Since visiting the Chernigev area with Maurice Frohn in April of 1996, we have been moved to do all we can to help children in Chernigev, Ukraine. We have focused our assistance to Children's Polyclinic No. 2 and the center for rehabilitation of handicapped children called "Revival" which officially opened on June 19, 1996.

The only way that 850 totally disabled children can get any kind of therapy is through assistance from the outside of Ukraine. The number of children classified as disabled since 1986 has more than tripled from about 250. Most cases are directly attributable to the effects of radiation. Out of 140,000 children in the Chernobyl district only 1% are completely healthy.

Several people and agencies have valiantly joined us to help out in this mission.

For example, area hospitals in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota are donating medicine that is reaching expiration date but is still perfectly usable. Also, we are able to buy pharmaceuticals for 1/10 the wholesale cost for humanitarian needs. We are working with Compassion Humanitarian Relief who are supplying much of the labor and supplies for this container. We give special thanks to Sarah Osborn here in Indiana who is treasurer for The Chernobyl Fund.

While we have already shipped some of the items below to Chernigev, we are collecting again for another container. The United Churches of God in the Minneapolis region have been coordinating the collection of necessary supplies for the children's polyclinic and rehabilitation centers in Chernigev. Here are the items we need. If you have something to donate of these types of items, you can write me at:

Victor Kubik P.O. Box 476 Greencastle, IN 46135

Here are items we need:
* Paper white for drawing * Colored paper
* Clay * Pencils * Colored pencils * Colors * Paint brushes * Glue/paste * Toys trucks for boys * Dolls for girls * Money to purchase medicine and infant formula

Our Pledge

Many thanks to the contributors to The Chernobyl Fund. As stewards of your generous gifts we pledge the following to you:

  1. We will leverage your cash donations by a factor of at least twenty. This means that for every dollar collected, we will provide at least $20 of much needed aid in the Chernobyl region. Our first shipment was leveraged by a factor of over 80! We are able to do this be networking with other not-for-profit organizations, churches, community groups, hospitals and clinics, and government programs. We pledge to deliver the most bang for your buck!
  2. We will take al steps possible to ensure safe delivery of goods to the intended recipients. We will continue to monitor all receipt of supplies to ensure that no humanitarian aid sent is sold, bartered, or exchanged for personal gain. We pledge to deliver the goods to where they are supposed to go.
  3. We will keep you informed. You, our contributors will be given periodic updates on what The Chernobyl Fund is doing and how we are spending your gifts. We pledge to let you know how you are impacting the lives of the children of Chernobyl.

Thank you for your support!

From Maurice Frohn....

There are some things in life which one has to do. During the Summer of 1995 Peter Kingsley-Ducane wrote a short report on The Suffering Legacy of the Forgotten Children of Chernobyl. During the Summer of 1995 I knew what I had to do.

The Chernobyl Reconnaissance was blessed by a chance meeting in October, 1995 with Victor Kubik, an American who speaks Ukrainian and Russian. What is chance other than an unseen hand, for from then on all doors opened with ease. I came to be profoundly grateful to Victor for his untiring and patient translating and his persistence in transmitting this diary on his laptop at all hours along the brittle telephone lines. As a result of his warm and caring personality the Ukrainian people opened their hearts to him and through Victor I was able to enter into their minds.

This diary is the result and it speaks for itself. Maurice J.N. Frohn Honorary Consultant Surgeon Oakwood House, Woodchurch Kent, England. TN26 3QD

May, 1996

Dedicated to

Dr. Vasily Pasechnik
Dr. Anna Yakubova
Dr. Natalya Zenchenko

.....and all those others who did not run away


It is one decade since the Chernobyl disaster. The nuclear power plant lies in the flat woodlands of the Ukraine close to the border of Belorussia. The reactor fuel was rods of uranium dioxide moderated with graphite and water cooling circuits raised steam to the turbines.

The engineers were testing the ability of the generator, while freewheeling, to power the cooling pumps after its steam supply had been cut off, as might happen during a power failure. The test on Unit 4 started at 0100 hours on 25th April. At 0123.40 on the 26th April the reactor became super prompt critical. At 0123.48 a steam explosion dislodged the 1000 ton steel and concrete cover plate, three seconds later the reactor exploded and ejected molten fuel.

The exposed graphite caught fire releasing radionuclides into the atmosphere for ten days covering the whole of Europe to a wide range of radionuclides irregularly distributed by the rainfall. At the plant, emergency personnel and fire-fighters received high doses of beta and gamma radiation and thermal burns. 21 "liquidators" who received doses over 600 rad were dead within 28 days.

The plant workers' town Pripyat, one mile away, was evacuated on the 27th April in good order within 3 hours with no time to pack. 135,000 people were evacuated from a 30 km zone. Offers of homes, clothes, money and blood revealed the common bond of the Soviet people in misfortune.

Of the many radionuclides distributed by the plume, the most dominant were isotopes of iodine, caesium, strontium and plutonium, associated with highly radioactive fuel particles and dust. The external exposure to radioactivity in most of Europe was less than would be experienced by a London-Spain jet return flight. It is the internal exposure which is significant, the highest doses being received by children drinking fresh milk from herds grazing contaminated pastures. Green leaf vegetables, lamb, fruit and rainwater are further sources of internal exposure. The effect of the iodine isotope was short having a half life of 8 days but the

Caesium isotope has a half life of 14 years, contamination being greatest where rainfall was greatest. The incorporation of isotopes into the food chain remains a source of internal exposure but it is expected that the increase of cancers in non-Soviet Europe will be barely detectable.In March 1991 the International Chernobyl Project produced a technical report which was subject to limitations of time, the vast area covered, some inadequate data and a limited number of experts available for the study. However, it was noted that the high level of stress was linked to socio-economic, political and relocation changes rather than to radiophobia.

In 1990 the children were generally healthy. Up to 15% of adults required medical care which is similar to non-contaminated areas.

Growth rates for children were unaffected and there were no thyroid biochemical changes. Immune systems were competent and blood examinations revealed no change.

The incidence of cancer was rising before 1986 and there was no increase in leukaemia or thyroid cancer associated with the disaster. There was no change in the incidence of congenital abnormalities. The observation was made that the benefit of

evacuating from a contaminated area could be marginal compared to the reduced longevity as a result of the emotional disturbance and difficulties of relocation.

Since 1995 relief agencies and the news media have reported that the full effects of the disaster are only now beginning to emerge with a sudden increase to hitherto unknown high levels in childhood malignancies, especially of the thyroid and leukaemia. Personal communication has revealed that the problem is compounded by the prevailing social and economic conditions leading to failure of the medical services to provide definitive or palliative care, not because of lack of will but because of lack of essential resources.

It is proposed to visit the Ukraine for a reconnaissance of the condition of the people, their hospitals and staff. It is not intended to interfere or wallow in tragedy but to estimate the need where required and wanted. Individuals do not have the authority of impressive committees but individuals can move and reconnoitre faster and wider and be less intrusive and intimidating, without the burden of schedules and protocol of committees.

On return it is proposed to inform and mobilise the charitable foundations and individuals in the UK and to utilise the resources offered in the USA. The Chernobyl disaster has been overshadowed by more European wars. This visit will not solve the overwhelming problems but it will show the Ukrainian people suffering as a result of the world's greatest nuclear accident, that they have not been forgotten.


Radiation and Health. R.R. Jones and R. Southwood. 1987

Chernobyl. The Real Story. R.F. Mould. 1988

The International Chernobyl Project. An Overview. 1991

Victor Kubik   or