Who knows – maybe if little Basia had been given more attention and care she would be a healthy and independent woman today. You do not, however, choose your own family… For many years she had witnessed quarrels, drunken evenings and violence. She had been living in fear. She did not hope, on a twisted path of pain and despair, for anything special that could happen to her. The only thing she hoped for, hiding behind the closed doors, was getting back the feeling of safety constantly disturbed over the years...
Basia was condemned to solitude by her closest family on the day she was born. Her mother returned to her previous way of life which didn’t account for a child. Basia’s grandparents did try very hard to rebuild what’s most important for the child and what she never got from her parents – the feeling of safety and trust.
After 12 years, the mother and her new companion had suddenly remembered Basia. Alcohol abuse, violence and constant quarrels became the new everyday reality which took Basia’s childhood away. Being burdened with adult problems out of her scope of understanding, all she could do was cry. Alcohol replaced love, while violence pushed out safety and led to neglecting disturbing illness’ symptoms. Basia woke up in pain and went to sleep in pain. She was given pills instead – a vast amount of it. So many of them in fact that her body refused to respond after some time. The antibiotics and pain killers led to kidneys, liver and spine damage to almost complete devastation. The pain was supposed to stop – it didn’t… Basia entered adulthood alone. She finally decided to run away – just to escape the everyday reality of constant arguments and alcohol.
Independence for a lone young woman is harsh. Homelessness, lack of even a single warm meal and prospects nearly drove her to the bottom of existence. In spite of that, she decided to help and support others like her. She wished to become someone, whom she missed in the hardest moments of life – someone who will help where the help is most needed. Therefore, she started to participate in self support groups. It is there where she finally found love and happiness – where she met Mirek. They are two people joined together despite of pain, sickness and harsh experiences. They are two people in love.
Mirek struggles against deep venous thrombosis. Symptoms include non-healing wounds and swellings all over both legs. Side effects of Basia’s many years’ antibiotic treatments resulted in bronchial asthma, kidney and stomach damage – ultimately resulting in having to get a wheelchair. Their monthly income, amounting to 1006 PLN, comes from Mirek’s pension and housing allowance. After paying the bills and purchasing the necessary medication for both, the remaining money to live from ranges from 150 to 200 PLN, which leaves 50 PLN per week at best for food. In XXI century one will starve to death faster than being done in by years’ long illnesses.
Basia and Mirek’s is the story of love written in pain and suffering. Love allowing both of them to survive. Day after day. Together. Their happiness have, however, began to take image of diseased Polish poverty. Being sick in Poland is affordable only for the wealthiest.
Let us not judge others through their material status – such appraisal will never be fair. Many factors influence the status, yet many of these are beyond our control. Health, or rather the loss of it, strips a human being of his/her dignity. Illness disables employment. Lack of employment leads to poverty. Poverty takes away the will to live. It is a cursed cycle of despair – almost impossible to stop. Please help us provide Basia and Mirek with all the necessary medicine, food and basic hygiene supplies.