For most of us, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster is history. But the reality is its effects linger for thousands still living around the site, which will be contaminated for centuries to come.
Two decades ago, a program was started locally to help those in Belarus receive treatment, and now Hope for Chernobyl’s Child is continuing that mission in Renton.
On Tuesday, nine children landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and met their host families. For the next six weeks, they’ll visit with doctors who volunteer their time for everything from surgery to dental work.
Over the years, more than 350 kids have been helped; organizers say children now are sicker than ever from Chernobyl's lasting effects.
“Even our poorest day is better than their best,” said Dave Lyon, who is hosting a 10-year-old girl named Alina. “We have so much, and what little ways that we can give back, we should.”
Program organizers are still looking for more doctors to provide care and for activities the children can go to. If you’d like to contribute or learn more, visit Hope for Chernobyl's Child's website.