JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With only the clothes on their backs, Alina Koleva and her three children escaped Ukraine after Russia invaded their country.
“We weren’t able to take any belongings with us, only documents,” said Koleva.
They sang church songs on a train, drowning out the sounds of explosions during their journey.
Leaving her husband, a church volunteer, behind.
“It’s very difficult to talk about. It’s very hard to experience because we don’t know when we will meet again,” said Koleva.
Koleva and her sons made it to Jacksonville in April.
With help from Living Stream Church and Alfa Dental Management, Koleva and 40 other refugees from Ukraine received free dental care on Thursday at ASAP Atlantic Dental.
“Hopefully they will clean my teeth and they will maybe fill in some of my cavities,” said Koleva.
“It feels very humbling to be able to help people,” said Dr. Yevah Cueto with ASAP Dental. “I think that’s how we just feel today is humbled to have direct contact and direct impact for people who have been through so much and such unimaginable upheaval and changes in their life.”
Koleva also recently learned that she has developed a cancerous growth in her brain.
“Because of the church and because of believers in the church, we have everything we need,” said Koleva.
Despite her setbacks, she is grateful her family is alive.
ASAP Dental is taking donations, including clothing, home goods and supplies at all of their locations. Click here for a list of where you can drop donations.