Bogdan Motorenko and his wife, Yelyzaveta, already had to give up everything they knew to flee their home and come to Canada, but another large hurdle soon faced them.
Their eight-year-old son, Mark, suffers from cerebral palsy.
When they fled Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, they weren't able to bring his medical equipment with them and then they couldn't afford to have it shipped to Canada.
That's when the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society stepped in, providing the financial support needed to have the equipment sent to Burnaby.
"My office received a desperate plea in early September from Bogdan Motorenko and his wife, Yelyzaveta Motorenko, through their sponsored family in Burnaby, that it would cost thousands of dollars to ship their special needs child’s medical equipment from Ukraine to Canada," Burnaby-New Westminster MP Peter Julian said in a release.
"We immediately contacted the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society for assistance."
After months of coordination between the family, firefighters and post office in Ukraine, the equipment arrived.
Julian, alongside Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley, thanked the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society on Saturday (Nov. 26) for its support.
"The Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society is honoured to have the opportunity to provide the financial support to ship Mark’s medical equipment to Canada. Our mission is to raise money for community groups and non-profit organizations," Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society president Scott Alleyn added in the release.
"It is our joy to see Mark’s smile as he sees his equipment finally arrive in Canada. We hope this equipment will make a huge difference in his life."
Bogdan Motorenko explained in the release the equipment will increase his son's mobility and quality of life.
"I want to sincerely thank MP Julian and the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society for helping us to bring Mark’s equipment to Canada.
"The equipment is exercise equipment enabling Mark to exercise to strengthen his muscles. The equipment will tremendously increase Mark’s mobility and quality of life."