Ukrainian volunteers are of “steel”, but also need our support

KATERYNA HOLOVCHENKO (TREGUBOVA) - 47 years (relocated from Kyiv in March 2022), oncology, cancer metastases of brain.

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Kateryna was a well-known volunteer (participated in support of both “Maydan revolutions”2004&2014), owner of the travel agency and graduated from Milan Design College. Was married to Eugeen Tregubenko (actor, engineer of ukrainian drones), they met on the art-project held by Ivano-Frankivsk Dramatic theater. We hosteled her on the first week of russian invasion.

At that time she was about to go for chemotherapy in Poland but due to traffic jams of refugees that were kilometers long, her trip was delayed and her state began to worsen radically. A consilium of oncologists decided that she would not be able to pass chemotherapy because cancer was progressing too fast, so her husband decided to place her at our Palliative Care Center. Here she received proper care at the end of life including pain relief, social, emotional and spiritual support. Her room was often filled with flowers and friends that came to visit and support her in struggle against cancer. We even had a little play made by our local theater for patients of Hospice performed upon her request (that cooperation continued and resulted in couple of events made by actors in Hospice last year). Our chaplain, who was providing spiritual support admitted her passion to life despite the diagnosis and willingness to help others even in such hard conditions.

Husband often came to visit her and as it was a period of “blitzkrieg”, he had to explain a lot to our personnel, who feared a lot, that Ukrainians can fight back russian threat. After three weeks she has passed away and the funeral was held in the garden of Hospice as at that time most of authority institutions were closed. Never before our Palliative Care Center was visited by so many artists and actors, volunteers and designers, and we hope after the war ends we will have more opportunities to hold events for our patients.