5-year-old boy with leukaemia arrives in Ireland after fleeing Ukraine


A five-year-old boy from Ukraine has fled to Ireland in the hopes of receiving life-saving treatment for his leukaemia.

The young boy’s doctors encouraged him and his family to escape the city of Kyiv last week, mere days before he was due to receive a bone marrow transplant. However, on the insistence of his doctors, Leonid Shapoval and his family escaped to Cork earlier this week, where his great-aunt lives.

“The doctor gave Yana [Leonid’s mother] all Leonid’s documents and said: ‘Run, just run. There is no way he is going to get any more treatment. We have to send him home. Because of war, we don’t know what’s going to happen’,” Leonid’s great-aunt Victoria Walden said when talking to The Guardian.

Leonid’s leukaemia treatment was halted last week when Vladimir Puton ordered a brutal invasion on Ukraine. He was due to receive his transplant on March 10, after several weeks of chemotherapy.

Thankfully, shortly after arriving in Ireland earlier this week, Leonid was assessed by medical professionals, who hope to resume his treatment as soon as possible.

Leonid and his family have been inundated with support since their arrival, as a GoFundMe page set up by a family member to pay for Leonid’s treatment has already raised over €60K. In the fundraiser description it reveals that the hospital in Ukraine which Leonid was due to receive his treatment in has since been bombed amid the ongoing attacks.

“Leonid has leukemia, and was due to get his transplant treatment in Kyiv last week, as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia got worse, Leonid’s parents were told to leave the country and seek help somewhere abroad, since then we have been told that the hospital in Kyiv he was due to go to had been bombed,” the GoFundMe reads.

If you would like to contribute or learn more about the fundraiser, click here.