Finding refuge to save a son. Story of the Blizniuk family

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Alina Danilova
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"At home, we had everything. And here we have nothing. At one moment, we lost everything we had. We even need things like forks and spoons. All of that… is hard"

After the war began, 7.5 million refugees from Ukraine raced across Europe towards safety according to UNHCR. As this mass migration of people took place, more than 50,000 Ukrainians made the journey and arrived in the US.  

None of these refugees had an easy journey–but for some, the journey was exponentially more challenging. For families with special needs, finding shelter when escaping the bombs seemed a mission impossible. 

Maxym Blyzniuk, his wife Natasha, and their son Timur left their home in Kharkiv the day the war started. Timur is a very handsome boy with a serious diagnosis – cerebral palsy. He needs reliable health care–all the time. On February 24, when the first bombs fell in their hometown, the family drove 35 hours without rest to reach the border of Ukraine. 

In a while, they reached Los Angeles, exhausted, and had to start all over. 

“It is very difficult to be here alone without friends and support. We don’t know local laws, rules, everything is different here…” – Maxym Blizniuk

UkraineNow founder Artur Kiulian along with volunteers met them in early April and have been supporting them ever since. In the beginning, things like bedding, dishes, hygiene products, and food were pressing needs. With your help,  these items were delivered in a matter of hours. 

“Citizens of the US brought us food, clothes, helped with the arrangement of the house: a bed for our son, bed linen, and so on. UkraineNow provided us with an apartment for two months. They were also helping us with documents and coordination – we are very grateful for that”

Since then, you kept the support coming! They received more food and everything Timur needed: toys, school supplies, books, and notebooks. The special needs of their son also required immediate attention. With the help of volunteers in the USA, we raised the money and arranged the delivery of a special bicycle for Timur

Today, and because of your support, this family is continuing to build their life in the US while trying to keep up and recover from the trauma of leaving everything behind. 

Their hometown is being shelled every day, and yet they're looking forward to the day they can go back home.

In one of the interviews, Natasha shares:

"I used to bake a cake for my birthday. Today, I made it but without candles and wishes. We all have only one wish to come true...Home is home"

For many Ukrainian families, it's hard to ask for help. You can support families like this when you give today.  

Artur, the Blizniuk family & UkraineNow volunteers


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