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Alena Kuzmenko
Founder, "Unity Movement" (Russia)

Alena is a co-founder of Unity Movement (Russia), which is devoted to spreading art therapy and other quality of life practices for oncology patients across Russia.

 

Prior to founding Unity, Alena had 10 years of experience in investment banking.

She decided to start helping oncology patients when her own mother Svetlana got cancer in 2014. At the very begining of Unity Movement (when it didn’t have its name),f it was Svetlana who taught her fellow patients different art therapy techniques, which she brought from the USA to Russia, where she was treated for some time.

 

Meeting Ian Cion, Nicole Stott and Gordon Andrews and taking part in the Unity spacesuit creation inspired Svetlana and Alena and gave birth and name to Unity Movement (Russia), which is now a partnering organization to the Space for Art Foundation.

 

Svetlana painted the tree of life and yin and yan symbol on the Unity spacesuit during the art session in Moscow.  Her paintings represent the love and unity she shared with her daughter on her cancer journey.  Svetlana passed away in November 2017, but she continues living through Unity.