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The August 19th Ukraine support rally is dedicated to all victims of the russia’s war in Ukraine who became amputees in these last 18 months. As of now there are more than 50,000 amputees in Ukraine due to the war, many of them are civilians: seniors, women and children.
Last summer San Diego welcomed a beautiful family from the Donetsk region, who were invited for the prosthetic treatment by the Right 2 Walk Foundation (Peter Harsch Prosthetics) and the Ukrainian Embassy.
On April 8, 2022, Natalia and her twin children Yana and Yaroslav were waiting for an evacuation train at the Kramatorsk station when a russian cassette bomb exploded, killing 52 people and injuring over 100. Natalia, 43, lost her left leg, while her 11-year-old daughter Yana lost both legs. Yaroslav was evacuated and reunited with his mother and sister after a month of not seeing them. Their grandmother was killed in that horrendous terrorist attack by russia.
For the past year, the Stepanenko family has been undergoing rehabilitation in San Diego. Thanks to the help of prosthetist Dr. Peter Harsch and his team, Natalia and Yana have learned to walk again. Their recovery was aided by Right 2 Walk Foundation, Peter Harsch Prosthetics, Challenge Athletes Foundation, Ukraine House, Samaritan’s Purse, House of Ukraine, local churches, and a large number of volunteers. On August 19 at 3:00 PM, the Stepanenko family invites everyone who has helped them and supports Ukraine to gather at the House of Ukraine rally in Balboa Park by the monument of El Cid.
After the rally at 5 pm, House of Ukraine in Balboa Park will hold a farewell potluck “Hug Me” in support of the Stepanenko family. The Stepanenko family will be returning to Ukraine next week.
Let’s meet and give a hug to this family, share our warmth and loving energy, and wish them a safe trip to Ukraine.