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Novak Djokovic helps in the treatment of a 1-year-old suffering from a fatal disease

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
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Modified 31 Jul 2020, 15:58 IST
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Novak Djokovic is known as a man with a big heart. Not only has he achieved immense glory for Serbia, he has also contributed positively to his people whenever they have been in need.

In his most recent act of goodwill, Novak Djokovic displayed exceptional compassion and generosity to help a young Serbian girl plagued with a chronic disease.

Novak Djokovic arranged a special plane for young Sofija Markuljevic

Sofija is a little girl aged just one. She has been diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disorder known as the Werdnig–Hoffmann disease, which is the first stage of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This is one of the leading causes of death in infants worldwide, as the patient can't even sit due to wasting away of their muscles.

The treatment for disease costs upward of $2 million, and is predominantly available in the United States of America. And Sofija’s family, being from a humble background, struggled to find the resources for the treatment.

Novak Djokovic has displayed great generosity during this lockdown
Novak Djokovic has displayed great generosity during this lockdown

That is where Novak Djokovic and Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostic stepped in. They both donated undisclosed sums to help raise the necessary amount required for the treatment.

Novak Djokovic went a step further and even arranged a private plane for Sofija and her family. As per telegraph.rs, Djokovic did this so that Sofija could be taken to the hospital at the earliest.

With such an illness, the timing of the treatment is of great importance - as Novak Djokovic realized. His act of generosity helped the family bypass all COVID-19 related travel restrictions which are currently in place.

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Novak Djokovic is popular amongst young people
Novak Djokovic is popular amongst young people

While Novak Djokovic wouldn't want to take any sort of credit for this gesture, it can be said that his selflessness has now given young Sofija a fighting chance to survive. The little girl’s family thanked both Kostic and Djokovic in the Instagram post that they uploaded, which is translated as below:

“We are especially grateful to Miodrag Kostić and his company, as well as Novak Đoković, who provided a private flight to America, because their help came as the crown of this action for a better life in our Sofija. Without their engagement, the organization of travel to America in the conditions of the corona virus pandemic would not have been so easily realized."
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Dragi ljudi, zelimo da vas obavestimo da smo dobili potvrdu od fondacije Budi human i M:tel-a RS da su prikupljena novcana sredstva za lecenje nase Sofije i da smo USPELI! Osecanja su pomesana, jos nismo svesni da smo na cilju. HVALA BOGU I HVALA SVIM DOBRIM LJUDIMA KOJI SU PODRZALI NASU BORBU I DALI SOFIJI SANSU DA SE BORI! Hvala za svaki SMS, za svaku donaciju, za svaki lajk, share, hvala na svemu sto je omogucilo da se za malo vise od 4 meseca borbe prikupe sredstva za lecenje. Sofija je ujedinila Srbiju, Republiku Srpsku i BiH, Crnu Goru, ceo region i sve nase ljude u dijaspori i ova nasa borba je dokaz da dobri ljudi jos postoje svuda! Ogromnu zahvalnost dugujemo nasem timu koji je prethodna 4 meseca vredno radio, danonocno smisljao nove ideje, koji nam je davao snagu da idemo dalje i kad je bilo tesko... Ne bismo uspeli bez vas! @chikarile_drugi @savictatjana @glow_by_maya @tamarariistic @nadjaristic22 Ako Bog da, plan je da u sto kracem roku izvrsimo uplatu bolnici, udjemo u proces dobijanja viza i krenemo put Amerike. Posle je sve u Bozijim rukama. Prikupljena sredstva bi trebalo da budu dovoljna za tri meseca boravka u USA. Nadamo se da nece doci do nekih nepredvidjenih okolnosti. Posebno smo zahvalni Miodragu Kostiću i njegovoj kompaniji, kao i Novaku Đokoviću, koji su obezbedili privatan avio let do Amerike, jer je njihova pomoć došla kao kruna ove akcije za bolji život naše Sofije. Bez njihovog angažovanja organizacija putovanja do Amerike u uslovima pandemije korona virusom ne bi bila tako lako realizovana. Nasa borba se ovde ne zavrsava, jer i druga deca cekaju na svoju sansu! Budite i dalje uz nas i jos jednom hvala na podrsci tokom cele nase borbe! 🙏❤

A post shared by Za Sofijin prvi korak (@zasofijinprvikorak) on

Novak Djokovic: The Good Samaritan

Novak Djokovic has faced a lot of criticism lately for hosting and organizing the Adria Tour, which led to four top players testing positive for COVID-19. To add to that, earlier in the year Djokovic also gave controversial statements about a potential vaccine for the virus, and then seemed sympathetic towards the claims of a pseudoscientist who believed that the ‘Bosnian Pyramids’ could cure COVID-19.

Novak Djokovic with his wife Jelena
Novak Djokovic with his wife Jelena

However, Novak Djokovic has also proven to be a good Samaritan on just as many occasions, if not more. He donated a generous sum of money - 5 million Serbian Dinars - to a Serbian town that had been ravaged by the virus. The 17-time Slam champion then proceeded to donate further resources to not only the rest of his nation but also to Italy and Spain - thus making him the first tennis player to provide help in three different countries.

Novak Djokovic’s foundation, meanwhile, has donated ventilators and monitors to various hospitals in Serbia. The Serb and his wife Jelena had also raised €1 million for the Serbian hospitals at the start of the pandemic.

Another donation, to the tune of $5.5 million, was pledged by the eight-time Australian Open champion towards the public health system and charities run by the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Published 31 Jul 2020, 15:58 IST
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