Julia Samailova Russia Finland

She’s a role model for many people living with disabilities and will no doubt inspire millions when she performs “Flame Is Burning” at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

And on Monday — several weeks before she jets off to Kyiv — Russia’s Julia Samoilova flew to Finland to undergo medical treatment and rehabilitation at a Finnish clinic.

Finnish state broadcaster YLE confirmed the reports, first released in Russian newspapers, with Julia’s assistant earlier this week.

“They have the best statistics for successful surgery,” Julia told Russia’s Gazeta.ru. “They do not exceed the risk threshold. I pondered the matter for a long time. I was talking about similar things with a lot of experienced people, and chose the Finnish clinic.”

According to Fontanka, Julia has also praised Finnish doctors who approach patients with great care and skill, and have a greater understanding of her particular needs when compared to doctors in Russia.

Reports have not confirmed the precise treatment Julia will undergo, only that she has elected to undergo the treatment abroad.

Julia, 27, lives with spinal muscular atrophy, also known as SMA, a condition that the causes muscles to waste away leading to immobility.

During her time in Finland, Julia planned to listen to the other competing entries in this year’s contest. Let’s hope we see her top list soon!

Many international media outlets have picked on Julia’s story after she was revealed to be Russia’s representative at this year’s contest. But controversy ensued when Ukrainian security officials said that they were investigating Julia after learning she had performed in Crimea in 2015. Under Ukrainian law, that could result in her being banned from entering the country.

Until Ukraine’s authorities issue a statement, we are assuming that Julia will be at Eurovision.

Russia will compete in the second semi-final. The odds are volatile and shifting every few hours, but at the time of writing Russia is ninth in the betting odds to win the contest. That marks a significant fall from fifth position — which they held prior to the announcement Julia would sing at Eurovision.

READ MORE RUSSIA EUROVISION NEWS

 

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James
Guest
James

I am from the United States. I am no fan of the Russian government. I believe that Donald Trump is a Russian puppet. However, I am an advocate for people with disabilities. I was outraged when Donald Trump mocked a reporter with a disability. I am equally outraged by Ukraine’s decision to ban Julia. Due to her condition, she might die at am early age. Enough of the bickering between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea. Ukraine should have taken the moral high ground and let her enter the country for Eurovision.

Kris
Guest
Kris

@Voxtaylor

Depending on which type of SMA she has she is expected to have a normal life expectancy. SMA type 3 has near normal life expectancy and in SMA type 2 life expectancy is slightly reduced but may be prolonged with regular physiotherapy.A good clinical pointer to differentiate the two types is the age of onset of symptoms and whether the person was ever able to walk.

Eve
Guest
Eve

Good luck Yulia #celebratediversity

Donna Vey
Guest
Donna Vey

Russia 2017 has really grown on me. Such a beautiful emotional sentiment in the song. And obviously Julia’s story is stirring in the emotion of the song.

could it be a surprise ESC hit?

Colin
Guest
Colin

Wishing Julia a good treatment and all the best in the life. I wish she has a great time during ESC, and no matter the result, that she remembers it as the great time with a lot of positive sentiment.

Voxtaylor
Guest
Voxtaylor

I’ve had some time to think about this… This woman probably doesn’t have a lot longer to live, relatively speaking. Yet, in her lifetime, she managed to represent her country in Eurovision…

Shame on me (initially) and others for trying to take the joy of that away from her. Best of luck, Russia!

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

It would be fine to hear her in Kyiv although you need to learn word alike ukrainophobe as she impersonates it ahead of contest. No wonder she is broadly supported by media people who can’t enter Ukraine because of spreading messages against it.

Eva M.
Guest
Eva M.

If Russians ever wonder why their government is pretty broadly disliked in Europe and here in US (except by our charming new President, who loves brute power, walls and bans on all kinds of liberties) it is because they are ready to stoop as low as to send this sick girl to Kiev in order to score a few points against Ukraine.

Roman
Guest
Roman

If she did say/tell something anti-Ukrainian, I don’t really think she is a fit for Eurovision in Ukraine. I hope ukrainian authorities will take an action and don’t allow people that violate ukrainian law to be in the territory of Ukraine. Health issues cannot be an excuse. I am sorry, law and order for everyone, including her.

morozko
Guest
morozko

Eurovision – dream Juliya Samoilova!!!

GOOD LUCK! Beautiful girl!

morozko
Guest
morozko

Beautiful ballada! Good luck, Juliya!
Wili – respect (wiwiVlog Juliya Samoilova)!!!

irada
Guest
irada

Julia will sing in Kyiv. Eurovision is song contest not political event. Good luck Julia. Greetings from Poland:)

Rufio Feelwix
Guest
Rufio Feelwix

Good luck girl!!

Kris
Guest
Kris

@mmiv 37°C is what is called ideal body temperaruture.But a mild fever is only considered a relative contraindication for vaccination in children/infants let alone adult. The absolute contraindications are immunodeficiency, signs of severe active infection (high fever/hypothermia, breathlessness, altered sensorium/lethargy, dehydration,grunting ,use of accessory muscles, bulging fontanelle, previous severe reaction to same vaccine,etc).So I’d vaccinate a child even if he has fever upto 100°F. For adults a few of these contraindications don’t exist.These are guidelines which we follow in a resource poor setting with poor compliance to immunization.The best thing to do is to wait for the child to be… Read more »

Ern
Guest
Ern

Significant fall for Russia in the betting odds? No way, Russia will be top 3.

Also, she knows perfectly well that Russia is sending her to Ukraine as a public relations stunt.

Likewise, she herself is probably using the opportunity to inspire and encourage so many people.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

@Candy: Specifically the news is referring to this very sad update on Oiko Times: “According to close family sources, the Portuguese representative for Eurovision 2017, Salvador Sobral is in need of a heart transplant. It appears that he has been suffering from heart problems for some time and his appearance onstage is to hide a machine which keeps his heart stable, something which needs to be with him on a daily basis. The timescale for a possible transplant is affected by the need for a donor but would need to be undertaken before the end of the year. Salvador is… Read more »

R
Guest
R

@Candy

There have been news that Salvador is in the waiting list for a heart transplant, and that’s the reason he has that think on his belly, it’s his heart’s pacamaker batteries.

Julie
Guest
Julie

All my best to Yulia in her treatment and recovery. She truly is an inspiration, and has shown to be a pillar of strength amidst many trials. May she rise to overcome whatever adversity is thrown her way and show us what true diversity and unity is <3

Candy
Guest
Candy

@James What’s the matter with Salvador Sobral? I thought he already underwent surgery because of a hernia. I wish for the best for both Julia and Salvador.

Anton
Guest
Anton

@YoungsterJoey
I agree, I have never understood what was so special about Sergey’s song.

However, she may be banned to enter Ukraine not because she has “performed in Crimea”, but for violation of the national border, this is not the same thing. I hope there will be a solution but Ukrainian authority has right to do so

#FlamesAreBurning
Guest
#FlamesAreBurning

It’s great to see that she gets the best treatment she can get. All my support to her! <3

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

I like her song better than Sergey’s song, which was an outdated 2006-2008 pop song.

However, I don’t want this song to win. Team Italy!

kvira
Guest
kvira

Wishing all the best, and please let her sing at Kiev.

Lady Gagarina
Guest
Lady Gagarina

@Paratrooper that quote is ghastly. I mean everyone is fair game for criticisms, but degrading disabled people is just low & crass

Paratrooper
Guest
Paratrooper

@fikri not likely. Conchita and Jamal had songs with potential to win. This song is not bright, however the personality of Yulia is outstanding. And it makes me cry to hear from a Ukrainian authority – Oxana Bilozir – to say on an interview to 112 channel that “Russians are sending to Eurovision a beast”. I am ashamed of my country.

Lady Gagarina
Guest
Lady Gagarina

I hope her treatment goes well. Regardless if she is a pawn of some power play, I do hope she gets a chance to fulfill her dreams. Her song is kinda old-fashioned, i guess that’s where it’s charm lies. Good luck to her

Lukewarm
Guest
Lukewarm

Russia, intentionally or not, made a very strong move given their hand. The likelihood of Ukraine screwing up in one way or another is YUGE.

fikri
Guest
fikri

mocosuburbian
the amount of attention she’s receiving from foreign press kinda reminds me of conchita and jamala leading up to the contest. moscow 2018?

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

sort of irrelevant but her selection is brewing up a media storm
like news about her being investigated by Ukraine showed up in my city’s morning paper (Washington Post, this rarely happens)
also people in my school who don’t pay attention to the contest were talking about her story (!!!)
ukrainians should tread carefully, they really look bad atm

fikri
Guest
fikri

i hope she will come back from the treatment healthier and stronger to slay all these russophobes. <3 you go julia!

Timo1962FI
Guest
Timo1962FI

@ninasublatti – how old are you? Are you laughing at your own jokes? They tell quite a lot about you as a person.

James
Guest
James

*other, according.

James
Guest
James

In toher news, accoridng to Oiko Times, Salvador Sobral will also undergo treatment and will not be seen until May.

billy joe
Guest
billy joe

If she said controversial things, I hope someone will tell us because it’s impossile to search for something with non-latin alphabet.

ninasublatti
Guest
ninasublatti

1 north korea
2 syria
3 federated states of micronesia
4 madagascar
5 former yugoslav republic of monkeydonia
MY TOP 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ImpressiveInstants
Guest
ImpressiveInstants

Her song is weak but I wish her the best. I applaud her.

peaceman
Guest
peaceman

I love her she’s cute my vote go for her and not for ITALY.

mmiv
Guest
mmiv

Thank you Kris.
I’ve heard that vaccines can be take only if the baby/child/adult’s body temperature is less than 37 degrees Celsius. It is important to know, if this is true.

poddy
Guest
poddy

I think this is a very clever power play by the Russians, it almost has to be admired for how Machiavellian it is. I think the main reason she was selected was to provide a lose/lose situation for Ukraine, because of the performing in Crimea issue. If Ukraine follows their own laws and ban her from entering the country to perform in May, then there will no doubt be worldwide headlines “Ukraine bans disabled Eurovision singer from country” and if they do allow her to perform, Russia will have forced Ukraine to back down on banning people from the country… Read more »

Olsi
Guest
Olsi

For me she can sing and more. She is a great inspiration for humanity. Love her to see in FINAL so I can vote for her. I will give one vote for RUSSIA and one for ITALY.

adriana
Guest
adriana

I admire her bravery in singing at Eurovision.Lots of love .You are the biggest example for all of us ,and we should learn from you.Thank you .

Kris
Guest
Kris

@mmiv
No. Spinal muscular Atrophy is an autosomal recessive genetic condition with variable penetrance meaning that the degree of affect is different in different people. Julia seems to have SMA type 2 or 3 which manifests typically at the age of 6-18 months which coincides with the immunization schedule for quite a few vaccines. So probably her family associated the progress/onset of disease with the immunizations. It is not a direct effect of vaccination. However certain vaccines may have an idiosyncratic reaction in susceptible individuals(like the DPT vaccine)with a different neurological manifestation.(likelihood <1/1000 and hence benefit outweighs risk here)

Tomás Patrick davitt
Guest
Tomás Patrick davitt

I hope her treatment goes well!

Katya
Guest
Katya

@Catrionia As someone living in wheelchair as well, I say she is inspiring to me. Doesn’t matter Russia choose her this way or that way. She going to sing and people will see we can do many things. So yes she is role model to many many people!! PS Apologies for my English – am not native speaker!

mmiv
Guest
mmiv

I really want to know if it is because vaccines. In many countries vaccines are mandatory and the government doesn’t care about law suits because they win all.

Möhrant
Guest
Möhrant

Good ol’ Finns spreading their skills to the world. I love Finnish people! Lets hope all goes well for Yulia so that she’s in good shape for Eurovision

James
Guest
James

As far as betting odds are concerned, well…I don’t really know what to make of them.

Catriona Colville
Guest
Catriona Colville

Wow, you guys are really pushing the “inspiring” bit, aren’t you? I’m sure a lot of disabled people (myself included) won’t be inspired by her. Especially how and why she was selected. Also, I’d hardly call her a role model considering her comments about Russia’s annexation of Crimea. I know you guys are trying to be positive here, but I’d like more balanced reporting on this particular issue. A lot of people share different views on this, and it doesn’t make them “haters”. I do however agree with William on one point, and that is she is not some poor… Read more »

Cambell Grace
Guest
Cambell Grace

@William Lee Adams

Couldn’t agree more William. It’s like people think because she’s disabled they automatically assume she’s being a puppet for Russia. Personally, I like her song and it’ll do okay but not the best. But who knows, it might pull a Jamala and even win? Although, we know what juries are like with Russia…

AzeriBoy96
Guest
AzeriBoy96

I wish her the best of luck. :/