The first time I saw Dasha, she was wearing one of her best outfits and as soon as she spotted the camera she smiled. It wasn’t easy to find a common language with her. I constantly had the impression she thought I might do her harm. In the beginning she deliberately avoided me, huddling up toward her mother. I tried not to push the child and gradually Dasha became accustomed to me. At the time she was feeling better and better, despite the latest course of chemotherapy, after which she was supposed to be operated on to remove primary tumours. Based on research and analysis, doctors were optimistic. However, during the operation, it became clear that it would not be possible to save the child. All her internal organs were covered with small metastasis, which were impossible to remove. The verdict given to Dasha’s mother Katya was: “nobody can save your daughter”.
Katya decided to tell her daughter that the operation had been a success and that all would be well. The last time I saw Dasha was when I took them to the train station. There were heading for the only Children’s Hospice in St Petersburg (it was March 2014).
Dasha passed away 15 March 2014, a few days later she was buried next to her grandfather.