top of page

About Liya

Liya Dovgalyuk was born In Riga Latvia, but she and her family immigrated to the USA in 1991.  Liya was a prodigy on violin and a beautiful young woman.  The moving story of her life and death from issues related to her cancer has encouraged people throughout the world.


Liya Christian Ministry and Liya Music Camp are been named in her honor.


In her short Life she shone like a star lighting up the skies.

Liya's Story Recorded Live at McLean Bible Church
John Banther, WETA
Liya Christian Ministry
Liya, we love you very much. God loves you very much. The doctors tell us that the medicines are not helping you anymore. So, when Jesus comes to you and puts out his hand, you take it and go with him, and wait for us.

Written by Dr. Tony Cupit


       I often recount those incredibly courageous and haunting words in sermons and talks I give around the world.  The words were whispered to a 13-year old child dying of cancer in a hospital ward in Washington, D.C. by her mother, with the father standing alongside.  Every time I tell the story and quote the words, my eyes brim with tears. Inevitably, those in the congregation or other meetings who absorb the words, are deeply moved.  I often see people wiping their eyes or reaching for their tissues.  In the Baptist church in Denia, Spain, when I told about Liya's death and reiterated her mother's brave words at the bedside, the translator was so overcome she could barely get the words out.  Not surprisingly, therefore, the congregation was in tears!  A senior American Baptist pastor who heard me tell the story in Kohima, Nagaland said the story was the best illustration he had ever encountered of the transition from life to death (or is it life to life?). Continue Reading.....

In the News


January 4, 1993

Washington Post

By Bob Levy

As we report each year during our holiday-season fund-raising drive, any child is welcome at Children's Hospital. This year, a patient arrived from a country where treatment would have been less available and might have been less successful. My associate, Julia Angwin, reports:

Liya Dovgalyuk's mother remembers her 9-year-old daughter telling her once while at Children's Hospital, "I'm so happy I'm here. Maybe in Riga {Latvia}, I would be dead.


June 16, 1995

Washington Post

By Jacqueline Trescott

The midday sun from the atrium skylight of Children's National Medical Center illuminates her rose-petal cheeks. She sits on a folding chair, one hand firmly clasping her violin and the other brushing her long taffeta skirt. She turns and smiles at her mother, glances coyly at her classmates, and then waves briefly at the doctors who saved her right leg.


November 28, 1995

Woman's World

After Lyuba's 12-year-old daughter beat cancer, she returned to the hospital to tell sick children, in a very special way: you can get better.  Look at me!


July 9, 1996

Washington Post

By Claudia Levy

Liya Dovgalyuk, 13, a violinist and honor student at the Levine School of Music whose family immigrated to the United States from Latvia in 1991, died of congestive heart failure July 7 at Children's Hospital. She was a recent graduate of the sixth grade at McLean's Spring Hill Elementary School, and she lived in Vienna.

Please reload

1997 SUN
bottom of page