On July 31, 2023, the Commission Responsible for the Determination of the Incapacity for Work at the Ministry of Labour examined Olga Karach’s medical documents and concluded that her work capacity was reduced by 55% due to ankylosing spondylitis (Bekhterev’s disease) examined. In other words, she has been paralyzed by more than 50%.

“Since July 31, 2023, I have officially been recognized as a person with disabilities,” Olga Karach says with a somber smile while commenting on this news. “But inside, I haven’t changed. I remain the same person. Although, of course, it’s hurtful to have an incurable illness that slowly but surely devours your day by day.

But, on the other hand, I am still grateful to God and fate for living here and now.If I were born and lived 50 years earlier, my circumstances would have been dire. I would already have been paralyzed, lying in bed with excruciating pain, unable to move, and most likely completely blind by now. In other words, even such a small pastime as gazing at the ceiling and searching for cracks would have been beyond my reach.

Today, despite the severe illness, the excruciating pain, and the depression that sometimes overwhelms me, I still don’t give up and keep moving forward.

I still have opportunities to help people and influence the situation.

Although sometimes, of course, it’s amusing to listen to someone complaining. Sometimes I even want to say: hold on, but you don’t have endoprosthetics in your legs, you’re not dependent on injections and drips, and you’re not going blind. That’s already a lot, and I can confirm it from my own experience.

What do I dream of? My dream is that all individuals in Belarus who require medication and could benefit from modern medical advancements (and based on my personal experience, I can attest to their significant potential), gain access to it. This is particularly crucial for those currently trapped in a state of civil death – the very situation I would have faced if I had been born 50 years earlier. It’s very frightening for me to think about how many people like me, who could have been useful to society, creating, acting, moving towards their dreams, are now confined to their beds in Belarus.

It shouldn’t be that way. And this is what we must absolutely rectify.”