Cyprus Mail

Russian entrepreneur steps in to help blind toddler

Dani was diagnosed with severe optic disc hypoplasia

By Bejay Browne

A RUSSIAN entrepreneur living in Cyprus has donated the remaining amount needed to help a Paphos toddler, blind since birth, to undergo an operation which could help him see.

The two-year-old was born blind and his family had been racing to raise the final €5,000 they needed to help give him sight.

Iordanis (Dani) Demetrof born in March 2011 has already been treated in Thailand at a cost of €28,000. He needs three such treatments and the shortfall of the final €5,000 for the second trip has now been donated by Russian entrepreneur Andrey Dashin, founder of Alpari and ForexTime Ltd. Dashin actively undertakes regular charitable initiatives in both Cyprus and Russia.

After Dani’s plight was highlighted in the Cyprus Mail, offers of help flooded in, but despite assurances from supporters that the final amount would be covered, no large donations had been forthcoming until now.

Since his first treatment Dani’s sight has slightly improved in one eye and he is now able to react to light stimulation and his mother’s presence. His family believes that by completing all three treatments, the two-year-old will have a real chance of being able to see.

Rafaela Dimitrova, Dani’s mother, said that just months after his birth he was diagnosed with severe optic disc hypoplasia by a specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

The first stage of Dani’s treatment was carried out successfully in Thailand at a cost of around €28,000. The second phase will now be able to take place on April 20.

Family members managed to raise about €16,000 in total, while another €7,000 has come from fundraising events. But, until now, there was still a shortfall of €5,000.

Dani’s family said they were overjoyed at the generous donation made by Dashin and wanted to thank him personally.

“All of Dani’s family would like to offer out thanks to all of the people who have offered us support and stood by us to help raise the amount for Dani’s treatment in Thailand. Without them, none of this would be possible.”

Dashin, who moved to Cyprus with his family a few years ago, told the Cyprus Mail that entrepreneurs can make a real difference to the lives of the underprivileged and disabled. “I believe we all carry a responsibility to look after the society we live in and to take care of those who are less privileged, and I have ideas for my own charity foundation which involve bettering the society we live in,” he said.

Dashin has done much for charity, and founded the Alpari Charitable Fund in Russia in 2005. He is now in the process of setting up the new ‘Andrey & Julia Dashin’s Foundation’ which will be launched in Cyprus in a few months.

Dani’s family members speak little English, but do have friends who are able to translate. They understand Greek. To contact Dani’s family email:- [email protected]

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