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Harry Look-alike Seeks a Home

Posted by: Kristin
February 11, 2004, 10:53 PM

Young Valera Ashcheulov has more in common with Harry than just the dark hair and glasses that recently won him a look-alike contest at a Moscow bookstore; he is also an orphan. Born with a serious congenital problem, Valera was abandoned at birth by his parents, who told his two siblings that he had died.
When he was 5 years old, Valera was admitted to the Russian Children's Clinical Hospital in Moscow. It was at the hospital church that he found the support he needed. His habit of approaching churchgoers and saying, "Mama! Have you found me?" endeared him to one churchgoer, who took him in.

However, last summer he lost out on family life when his foster mother became seriously ill and could no longer care for him.

Despite all this pain and heartache, Valera is a bright, charming boy who is fond of chess, ping-pong and computers.

"Valera was left alone, but like Harry he managed to stand up on his own two feet," wrote the Charitable Fund for the Help of Seriously Ill and Destitute Children, which organized his participation in the contest.

"He's had a tough fate," said Oleg Dusayev, vice president of the charitable fund. "He's a good boy, very kind, but he needs love. He's very unhappy."

Valera is now on an adoption list with over a million other children, which the charitable fund is attempting to better publicize. Our thanks to Dmitry for sending us this link, so that we could share this story. Contact information for anyone interested in helping Valera, or someone like him, is available at the end of the article.

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