Saturday, October 28, 2006

Air you are, Julie.

--Courtesy of

Evgeni Malkin should have many assists during his NHL career.

However, his biggest assist may have come off the ice.

Dasha Tusaeva, right, stands with her mother, Natalia.
Submitted Photo

Malkin, the 20-year-old Penguins rookie, helped facilitate a much-needed surgery for a 6-year-old girl in Magnitogorsk, Russia, in September.

Dasha Tusaeva was born without a left arm and her mother, Natalia, hoped she could one day improve her daughter’s life.

This year, Natalia found out it was possible for Dasha to get an operation that would allow her to have a prosthetic arm. However, with Dasha’s father paralyzed during a street attack a few years ago, the family could not afford to travel to a Moscow hospital for medical testing and a medical procedure.

Enter Malkin. The young star learned about Dasha’s situation through a newspaper ad seeking financial assistance for the family in his hometown of Magnitogorsk. Some people from Magnitogorsk donated some money and, when Malkin was alerted to the situation, he stepped in immediately – in a big way. Malkin paid for the family to travel to Moscow for Dasha’s tests.

When it was determined surgery would benefit Dasha, Malkin stepped up and paid for the 350,000-rubel (approximately $13,461) procedure and covered the costs of the girl’s rehabilitation.

Evgeni Malkin
Pittsburgh Penguins

“I am very happy that the surgery went well for her,” Malkin said through translator George Birman. “When I learned about her situation, I knew I definitely had to help her. She was in a bad health condition without the one arm. I am glad she is doing very well now that she had the surgery.”

The whole situation was a surprise for the Malkin family as Evgeni did not publicize his act of generosity.

“His parents didn’t even know,” Birman said. “After the surgery, a newspaper reporter called them and asked what they thought. They had no idea what was going on.”

Malkin left Russia for the United States shortly before Dasha’s surgery, so he has not had a chance to meet her. Regardless, the Tusaeva family printed a newspaper ad thanking the Penguins rookie for his generosity.

“It happened right before I had to leave. I did not meet her personally,” he said. “I knew what was going on and what happened and how everything went. I left the country, but as far as I know, they contacted a newspaper and said thank you for everything I did.

“I would love to meet her. I hope she is doing well. Maybe I will see her this summer, we’ll see.”

--Courtesy of


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