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Sixteen-year-old Dima Lobodenko was born with cerebral palsy. Although his legs are malformed, he can walk short distances. The disease may have been caused by his mother's exposure to radiation, however no one can know this for sure. In other ways, Dima is a normal shy teenager, who spends his summer days at home alone, reading, listening to music, and staring out the balcony window at children playing in the courtyard below. He works out up to two hours per day with an elastic tube to strengthen his arms and legs. Dima and his mother live in Semey, Kazakhstan, near the Semipalatinsk Polygon, which served as a nuclear weapons testing site during Soviet times. Researchers detonated about 460 nuclear explosions above and below ground over a 40 year period, ending in 1989. <br />
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© Michael Forster Rothbart<br />
www.mfrphoto.com <br />
607-267-4893 o 607-432-5984<br />
5 Draper St, Oneonta, NY 13820<br />
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Photo by: Michael Forster Rothbart<br />
Date: 8/2007    File#:  Canon 20D digital camera frame 11938
Sixteen-year-old Dima Lobodenko was born with cerebral palsy. Although his legs are malformed, he can walk short distances. The disease may have been caused by his mother's exposure to radiation, however no one can know this for sure. In other ways, Dima is a normal shy teenager, who spends his summer days at home alone, reading, listening to music, and staring out the balcony window at children playing in the courtyard below. He works out up to two hours per day with an elastic tube to...
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Portraits from the Former Soviet Union