BREAKING NEWS One person critically injured in Research Park Blvd. wreck Full Story

Roman Abramovich makes World Cup dreams come true for seriously ill children

For football fans across the globe, the opportunity to go to the World Cup is something dreams are made of.For...

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 11:59 AM
Updated: Jun 19, 2018 11:59 AM

For football fans across the globe, the opportunity to go to the World Cup is something dreams are made of.

For 38 children who live with serious illnesses or conditions, that dream has come true courtesy of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and a group of other donors.

The Russian has donated a hefty six-figure sum to the Israel-based "Fulfilling Dreams" charity, which takes children with serious illnesses to major football tournaments across the world.

Abramovich's money and donations from others across the world have enabled Gilad Salter, the CEO and founder of the charity, to fund flights from Israel to Russia, hotels and food throughout the week-long stay.

The group of 68, which includes 38 carers, will take in three World Cup games during their stay in Russia.

"I'm having the time of my life," nine-year-old Polina Feldman, who suffers with cerebral palsy, told CNN.

"I've never been abroad before, and football is my life."

The group watched Mexico defeat reigning world champion Germany on Sunday and will also attend the Poland-Senegal clash on Tuesday and Portugal vs Morocco on Wednesday.

"I still can't believe I'm here," said Zidane Abu, 20, who also has cerebral palsy.

"Going to the World Cup was my greatest dream. All the people around are very kind, asking to take their photos with us, as like we're the stars."

This is the third tournament in succession that Abramovich has donated to the Fulfilling Dreams, having helped the group travel to Brazil four years ago and to Euro 2016 in France.

The Chelsea Football Club owner was first made aware of the charity by his friend and former Chelsea manager Avram Grant. Abramovich is Russia's 11th-richest man with a worth of $10.8 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

"Mr. Abramovich is supporting 'Fulfilling Dreams' for the third major tournament, following the Brazil World Cup and France Euros, and we continue to be impressed by the selfless work Gilad and his team are doing," a spokesman for Abramovich told CNN.

"The fact that the World Cup is here in Russia this year makes it even more special, and we hope the kids take home some great memories."

The charity has also received help from Moscow's Jewish community.

"We are so grateful to all our donors, especially Mr. Abramovich, for their tremendous generosity," said Salter, who was born in Manchester, England, but moved to Israel as a child.

"The dedication and hard work of all the helpers are such an important part of the success as well. I personally am so lucky to be able to do this for such deserving kids and to be able to give them something special to relieve, even briefly, the difficulties that they experience in their everyday lives."

In May Abramovich was granted Israeli citizenship, according to Israeli media.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 76°
Florence
Few Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 76°
Fayetteville
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 77°
Decatur
Overcast
79° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 82°
Scottsboro
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 61006

Reported Deaths: 738
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13423223
Davidson13162143
Rutherford352539
Hamilton330538
Sumner189756
Williamson170816
Knox15919
Trousdale15085
Out of TN138410
Wilson114817
Putnam10117
Bradley9594
Robertson92413
Sevier9153
Unassigned9102
Montgomery7327
Lake6970
Tipton6967
Bledsoe6291
Bedford6239
Macon5977
Hamblen4724
Maury4543
Hardeman4114
Fayette3685
Madison3522
Blount3403
Loudon3322
Rhea3150
Dyer2913
McMinn27619
Cheatham2693
Washington2610
Dickson2580
Lawrence2326
Cumberland2134
Sullivan2104
Anderson1952
Jefferson1821
Lauderdale1804
Gibson1771
Monroe1556
Greene1512
Smith1502
Coffee1410
Cocke1360
Hardin1257
Warren1230
Obion1192
Haywood1183
Franklin1163
Marshall1152
Wayne1150
Carter1031
Giles1031
Hickman1030
McNairy1011
Marion944
Hawkins862
Lincoln860
DeKalb850
White853
Roane810
Overton721
Henderson710
Weakley701
Campbell691
Claiborne680
Grundy652
Chester630
Unicoi590
Grainger560
Polk550
Carroll521
Crockett523
Henry510
Cannon490
Sequatchie490
Jackson470
Johnson460
Humphreys392
Meigs380
Perry370
Morgan311
Decatur270
Fentress260
Scott260
Stewart260
Union250
Moore210
Clay200
Houston200
Benton151
Hancock110
Lewis110
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

Community Events