How all of North Ossetia raked together $2.1 mln to save the life of one little girl
The story of one-and-a-half-year-old Arnella Persayeva has become a symbol of North Ossetia.
Thanks to the united efforts of people all around the republic, they were able to raise $2.1 million in just a few months. This is the cost of a single shot, which should cure her of a rare genetic condition—spinal muscular atrophy.
Everyone in the republic participated in the fundraiser. Some gave two dollars, some gave 300. Celebrity artists and athletes, including some from Moscow, donated thousands.
And on May 24th, the fundraiser was closed, having gathered the necessary sum money. The last donation of 54,000,000 rubles (almost $800,000) was contributed by President of the Alania Football Club Vladimir Guriev and his business partner Tamerlan Dzgoev.
The donation came just on time, as this injection needs to be given before the child turns two.
The drug that can save Arnella’s life is called Zolgensma, which is produced in the United States, as it has not yet been approved in Russia.
Over the past few months, helping Arnella has become a kind of national project. Some of the money was donated by employees at beauty salons, shops, and cafes. Ossetian officials and politicians also joined in.
Famous North Ossetian rappers, Miyagi and Andy Panda, announced that they would transfer all the money from their new European tour to the Persayev family.
“Our European tour we announced at the end of 2019 is now named after Arnella: Miyagi & Andy Panda, Arnella’s Tour,” the musicians said on their official Instagram page.
When the tour was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the rappers created a new challenge in support of Arnella. They said that they would make their new album, YAMAKASY, free for listeners if they raised 50,000,000 rubles [about $640,000].
In Europe, the German blogger Thero donated 25% of his shop’s sales to Arnella’s treatment. This was in reaction to the Ossetian rappers’ track “Utopia,” which the musicians dedicated to the little girl.
There are many others who participated in the fundraiser. Famous Russian football player Alexander Kokorin challenged other Russian Premier League players to donate to the girl’s treatment. World-famous football stars Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto’o also created similar challenges.
Football players from all over the world have launched a large-scale charity lottery. As part of the campaign, T-shirts of football stars signed by athletes were played.
Large amounts of money were donated by anonymous patrons.
“Thank you for your faith, prayers and support! Arnella will be able to dance! I hope your good deeds come back to you!” wrote the instagram page where the fundraiser took place.
Arnella Persayeva’s mother said that the girl was hospitalized in Moscow at the Institute of Pediatrics. The family is now closing an agreement with an American company, which is committed to providing the drug Zolgensma and delivering it to Russia.
This happy story also has an unfortunate twist. Arnella’s younger brother Alikhan was also diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy.