In 2012 Russia Beyond the Headlines held a digital lottery to celebrate the launch of its iPad app, RBTH for iPad 2.0. The winner of the lottery was to be awarded an iPad 3. RBTH was ready to ship the prize to the selected winner (who asked to remain anonymous) when the team received an email from him. "It is my wish that this prize bless somebody in Russia who can really benefit from it," he wrote. That was the beginning of Michael Brugov’s “Christmas fairytale.”
Michael is a 22-year-old boy from Chekhov, a small town in Moscow Region. He is affected by cerebral spastic infantile paralysis, but, thanks to technology and computers, he has found a way to communicate with the rest of the world.
When the winner of the lottery communicated to RBTH his desire to donate the prize to charity, the team started looking for someone who could really benefit from receiving an iPad.
“When we heard Michael’s story, we knew we had found the right person – we truly hope that the device will make it a little easier for him to do the things he loves,” said RBTH’s Internet marketing manager, Darya Karzanova.
Michael received his shiny new iPad right on time for Christmas. RBTH caught up with him to find out more about his life and to give him the chance to thank his benefactor publicly.
Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH): Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Michael Brugov (M.B.): I graduated from secondary school thanks to a special home-schooling program. I love listening to music, and I spend a lot of time on the computer playing games and chatting with people on social networks. This is for me the most accessible way to connect with my friends. And I watch a lot of films.
RBTH: Is there anything you would like to tell to the person who donated the iPad to you?
M.B.: I am deeply touched - this whole experience is like a Christmas fairytale. Thank you very much! You really are a good magician! I still cannot believe it… Thank you so much! I really hope you will only get good things in return. I wish there were more people like you in the world.
RBTH: What do you wish for your benefactor and the readers of RBTH in 2013?
M.B.: May 2013 bring you peace and stability, good health, the realization of you desires and all the best!
RBTH: Is there anything that foreigners should absolutely know about Russia, in your opinion? What’s the most valuable and interesting thing to be found in our country?
M.B.: Russians are a special kind of people, with their own interests, habits and weaknesses. The people - this is what makes our country special. Russia is also unique for its natural and cultural heritage. It is difficult to explain it with words: it’s something you have to see and feel to understand. I really wish everyone had the chance to visit our country at some point in their life.
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