Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Dr. Bogdana Schmidt, a urologic oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute and University of Utah Health, has been seeking ways to give back and support her native country during this time of need. With the aid of the Office of Global Engagement, a supply drive is currently underway to provide much-needed humanitarian relief for Ukrainian refugees.
“As a cancer surgeon, I spend every day fighting for human life—for someone to have another year with their family, attend another wedding, meet a grandchild. To see the devastation of thousands of lives in a matter of days is soul-crushing. I’m here today doing my job with my patients in Utah but my heart is with Ukraine and in these horrific times,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt is partnering with fellow Ukrainian and Urologic Oncologist Fellow at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Dr. Laura Bukavina. Bukavina is currently volunteering at the Ukraine-Poland border and is communicating directly with Schmidt and a nonprofit partner, the Cleveland Maidan Association.
Schmidt met Bukavina years ago at a medical conference and the two became fast friends. “It’s not every day you meet another female Ukrainian urologic oncologist,” said Schmidt.
“I began my work at the U in October 2021, and I have been impressed with how friendly, compassionate and caring this community is. I have been so grateful for the support and love I have received from my Utah colleagues who know how hard it is for me to see images of my hometown in rubble,” said Schmidt.
“Right now it’s very cold in Ukraine and they’re seeing a lot of cold-related injuries among refugees,” said Schmidt, noting an express need for coats and blankets.
Donated supplies can be dropped off at the following locations:
- Office for Global Engagement (Gardner, room 3105)
- Learning Abroad Office (Union, room 159)
- International Student & Scholar Services Office (Union, room 410)
- Biomedical Polymers Research Building (room 408C)
- Huntsman Cancer Institute—Cancer Learning Center Multipurpose Room (6th floor, N6230)
- Eccles Health Sciences Library
The following items are needed and should be new and unused:
- Winter coats in adult and children’s sizes
- Hats, gloves and sweaters
- Children’s clothes in all sizes
- Diapers and wipes
- Baby bottles
- Children’s/baby medications (Tylenol, ibuprofen)
- Children’s vitamins
- Baby food/packets
- Toothpaste and brushes
- Menstruation products
- Nonperishable items
Groups or individuals interested in supplying medical equipment should contact Schmidt directly via email.
Once collected, the materials will be sent directly to refugees by Schmidt and distributed with the help of the Cleveland Maidan Association.
About Cleveland Maidan Association
Started in 2014 as an effort by members of the Ukrainian diaspora to provide financial aid to those who were wounded or the families of those who died during the Euromaidan Revolution in Kyiv. As a new conflict arose in eastern Ukraine, the Association began to also provide financial and material support to the families of those wounded or killed during the war. The CMA is a certified 501(c)(3) charitable organization.