MOSCOW • After her daughter Alice was diagnosed with infantile cerebral paralysis, Maria Tsvetkova, "literally lived in hospitals" in Moscow, and regularly attended rehabilitation courses in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia.
Last year, the family decided on a new type of rehabilitation - the "Ski Dreams" programme.
The programme provides skiing lessons for people with physical and mental disabilities.
"Skiing, with the assistance of qualified staff within a framework of specially created programmes and equipment, allows the process of treatment, rehabilitation, and socialisation to be significantly accelerated for all categories of people with congenital and acquired health limitations on the neurological spectrum, starting from the age of three," says programme coordinator Julia Gerasimova.
The project was started in January 2014 by actor and TV host Sergey Belogolovtsev, and his journalist wife Natalya.
Their son, Evgeniy, had by then been living with infantile cerebral paralysis for 26 years, and did not walk for the first six years of his life. The family tried various rehabilitation methods, including a skiing programme in the US which unexpectedly proved to be the most effective, and motivated the couple to create a similar project in Russia.
The project runs in 16 regions of Russia, and more than 3,000 people between the ages of three and 62 have undergone rehabilitation.
Ski Dreams is searching for new funds and investors to expand the programme.