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Katya's Bells Ring in Memory of 5-Year-Old


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File story from 2008

EUGENE, Ore. - A little girl's battle with cancer touches an entire community. Now, her memory lives on through the sound of music.

They're called Katya's bells in honor of 5-year-old Katya Polischuk who died of brain cancer in late 2006. Today, they ring in a tower built at West Eugene's St. John's Orthodox Church. Her family says they hope those sounds of remembrance will bring joy to a community that helped them during such a hard time.

Sounds from the streets of Russia now ring loud and proud through the streets of West Eugene, holding the memory of one local little girl: Katya Polishchuk.

Her Aunt, Julia Nenirovskaya says, "She was a wonderful little girl and when she was gone we still have felt her around especially in the church."

Katya was diagnosed with cancer back in 2005. Her parents noticed one of her eyes was turning sideways and doctors found an inoperable brain tumor. When she lost her battle just a year later a set of custom-made bells from her family's home Moscow was commissioned in her memory.

Now, one year and 50-thousand dollars of donations later it's the centerpiece of this Eugene city block.

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Her family says although the length of Katya's life was small, her spirit is so big it's only natural her memory be heard for years to come. Her mother Maria says, "This bell tower and sound of bells remains here as a physical witness of the love and joy."

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