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To Russia, With Love: Girl Given a Gift of Insulin

February 16, 1992|CHRISTINA V. GODBEY

Cable News Network recently ran a story from Moscow about how difficult and costly life there is for the average citizen. It also profiled a diabetic 7-year-old girl named Sasha who was having difficulty paying for her life supporting insulin.

When Bert Kleinman of Pacific Palisades saw the piece, it really hit home. His 23-year-old daughter also has diabetes, and he is all too familiar with the cost of treatment and complications that can occur when insulin is not taken.

"I've seen a lot of suffering, but this really affected me," he said. "The picture of the girl kept coming back to my mind."

Kleinman, who produces radio programs for Casey Kasem in Culver City and U.S. Top 20 in Moscow, decided he must get involved. He contacted the producer of the story in Moscow and set to work on getting the correct dosage of insulin for Sasha.

Working with his daughter's endocrinologist, Dr. Michael Bush, head of the Diabetes Treatment and Education Center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital and president-elect of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Diabetes Assn., he was able to find out what type of insulin was needed and in what quantities. The insulin distributor, Novo-Nordsk, then agreed to donate the insulin.

"This is something so little to me and so much to that little girl," Kleinman said. "I knew there was something I could do."

Last week, Kleinman flew to Moscow on a business trip and arranged to deliver the insulin and a Barbie doll to Sasha and her Russian doctor. "We're a country with a big heart," he said. "When we see others in need, we give on a personal level, and my hope is people will understand that individuals can do things."

Hollis Kulwin, a resident of Santa Monica, was recently appointed assistant dean for career planning and placement at Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.

For the past 10 years, Kulwin has practiced law in various Los Angeles firms, focusing primarily on commercial litigation. She received her bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and participated in the Stanford Inter-University Center for Japanese Studies in Tokyo before earning a law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Civic leaders and members of the community gathered to celebrate the retirement of Duane Nightingale of GTE California.

Nightingale, who provided leadership for numerous Westside charities and community organizations, was honored Jan. 22 at the Miramar Sheraton in Santa Monica.

Christophe Diederich received third-place honors in the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout button designing contest. A sixth-grader at Warner Avenue School in West Los Angeles, he received the award at a Los Angeles Kings' hockey game last month.

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