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A nurse practitioner at UF Health reflected on her journey in Ukraine helping refugees

A nurse practitioner at UF Health reflected on her journey in Ukraine helping refugees
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 11:45 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - She traveled with her brother and an international organization.

“The Ukraine people need to know that they are not forgotten by the world, the US cares, the world cares, God hasn’t forgotten them.” It was that thought and her upbringing in Russia, that led Viktoriya Kashin to spend three weeks giving medical aid to Ukrainian refugees.

“They said we need people who speak Russian and we need medical people. I am a nurse practitioner and I speak Russian so it was like an answer to prayer” said Viktoriya.

After raising twenty-thousand dollars, Viktoriya worked at a refugee center that was an old Soviet hospital.

“I held back a lot of tears listening to the stories”, while giving medical treatment, Viktoriya says she heard many first hand accounts from people who fled the invasion.

“I’d sit in their bed and they’re all around, and they would just tell me their stories about what happened. Who they left behind and their husbands that are fighting and their gardens that haven’t been plowed and whatever else is left behind like their pets” said Viktoriya.

Viktoriya‘s brother Oleg is still in Kyiv, serving refugees, and said he saw most of the destruction while driving into the capital.

“Off the main interstate you could see the warehouses, the massive shopping centers on your left and your right. They were just destroyed. There were tanks, cars just burned” said Oleg.

Oleg says a lot of destruction has been cleaned up within the city and the people coming together brings him hope.

“It’s still wartime but people are already rebuilding. It is amazing to see that” said Oleg.

Victoriya plans to go back in the near future.

“To be able to show them yes we care, we see you, you know” said Victoriya.

In a time of desperation, these siblings were glad to to play a small part in a hurting community coming together.

Link to donate to Ukrainian Refugee Crisis Support.

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