As you are already aware, the values which The International School of Belgrade has been dedicated towards instilling in our community revolve around integrity, responsibility, respect and empathy. All of the above values are the foundation of our current Service program, where students and teachers alike strive towards improving the community around them and acting locally on global issues such as youth empowerment, poverty alleviation, sustainability, animal rights, generation gap bridging, and many other.
 
This is why it is especially empowering to have community members come up with interesting and innovative ways to contribute and address the needs of those that are less fortunate than themselves. Namely Ivan Cukanic (an ISB grade 11 student) and Ivan Nikolic (Instructional Aide), have decided to contribute through harnessing their common passion – cycling. Realizing that Serbia has a significant issue with treatment of children with rare diseases, Ivan and Ivan have decided to start a fundraising campaign in light of this cause. Throughout the month of May and the beginning of June, Ivan and Ivan will be raising funds for three individual children that are in need of special treatment. As their contribution to the campaign, the duo will be cycling across Vojvodina – from Backi Breg to Ram – from June 12th through June 16th, attempting to cover 433km on their journey for this cause.
 
As already mentioned above, Ivan and Ivan will be cycling in order to raise money for the following three individuals:
 
Martin Poša: Martin was born on September 9th, 2002 in Subotica. While only 6 months old he had his first operation in Belgrade due to hydrocephalus. Apart from hydrocephalus, Martin suffers from epilepsy, hypertension and weak-sightedness. Up until 2008 he has had 5 brain surgeries, and in 2012 he had a brain tumor removed. He is currently paralyzed, has a catheter and is schooled at home to the best of his abilities. He needs an operation in KBC Zagreb, so that he can have two brain tumors, which are life threatening. The cost of this operation is 3,900.00 euro.
 
Milena Mirković: Milena was born on September 13th 2000 in Novi Sad. At the beginning of 2002, her family had discovered that Milena suffers from diletative miocardipathia. The doctors had recommended an immediate heart transplant, at a time when this kind of an operation was not possible in Serbia so the operation took place in Berlin in 2003. Up until today her body rejected the heart transplant, but the doctors were able to minimize the effects. Every two years Milena needs to undergo medical treatment as the best way to ensure further complications. Her therapy has kept her heart going but has left damage on her kidneys and liver so she currently needs medication for these two organs. The price of the medication which is not covered by the state insurance is 56,997 RSD.
 
Darja Antović: Darija was born on July 25th, 2008 in Kosovska Mitrovica. Darija was born two months premature. At birth the doctors concluded that she must spend her first months of life in an incubator and she was sent to Kragujevac. After 20 days, the doctors sent Darija to Bukovicka Banja for kinesytherapy due to hypotomia of muscle tissue. When Darija was 8 months old, her parents placed her in a special hospital for cerebral palsy in Belgrade, where she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and quadriparalisys. Soon after she began experiencing epileptic spasms which only aggravated her state further. At five, she is taken to her first therapy. After therapy, there was significant improvement in Darija’s limb functions. At seven, she underwent similar therapy but with less success. To maximize the effects of her previous interventions, Darija needs to go to Czech Republic for treatment. The family is not financially capable of paying for the treatment, which costs 3,089 euro.
 
Throughout the month of May, starting on Monday, 8th, and the first week of June, we will be aiming, as a community to collect a sufficient amount of funds for Martin, Milena and Darija, and improve their lives to the best of our abilities. What we are hoping to achieve is a sponsorship for every kilometer that Ivan and Ivan will cover (433km in total). Each member of our community will be able to “sponsor” one kilometer of the route by donating an amount which they see as fit for this cause. That way each member of the community that makes a donation will represent one kilometer on Ivan and Ivan’s route. The donations can be made at the Lower School Reception, Upper School Reception or the Upper School Library.
 
After the fundraising campaign is over, we will transfer all of the funds collected onto the account of Support Life Foundation (www.podrzizivot.com), after which the funds will be used to pay for the medical bills of the three children mentioned above. The Support Life Foundation has an excellent record of helping out in this field, is a transparent organization, and is very reliable. The foundation was founded in 2014 by a number of Serbian celebrities, athletes and intellectuals and has managed to raise funds for 55 children in need. They continue to raise awareness on this issue and are constantly involved in a number of fundraising campaigns.
 
We hope that we will be able to raise enough money, and that these children will get the treatments which they so desperately need. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the CAS Coordinator Vladimir Stanojlovic at vstanojlovic@isb.rs or +381112069933. Let’s show how compassionate and caring our international community truly is.