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Ukrainian interpreters in high demand, and serving a multitude of needs

On March 21, Detroit resident Danyyil (Danny) Nosovskiy boarded a plane to Memphis for one of his most memorable assignments since he started as a Ukrainian interpreter with Bromberg and Associates in 2012. Danny was scheduled to work with four Ukrainian families that had been relocated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis from their homes in Lviv, Ukraine. Three of the four mothers left behind their husbands and homes so their children’s cancer treatment would go uninterrupted. Danny arrived not only to provide translation services between the families and hospital staff, but he also represented some semblance of home and was someone to be genuinely heard by.

One of the reasons Danny was asked to travel to Memphis was to act as the interpreter for Dr. Jill Biden while she visited patients at St. Jude’s. Dr. Biden was touring to promote the White House’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, a program to accelerate the rate of progress in the US against cancer. In addition, Dr. Biden's visit focused on St. Jude’s Global SAFER Ukraine (Supporting Action for Emergency Response) humanitarian effort, which launched following the Russian invasion.

According to Danny Dr. Biden entered the room with a genuine and calming presence. She met with the families and listened attentively to the heartbreaking stories of Pavlo (20 months), Khrystyna (~8), Bogdan (~8), and Melanya (~2). Everyone present in the room fought back tears as he relayed each mother’s experience of fleeing the war, leaving behind everything they had and relocating to St. Jude’s in a country so unfamiliar to them

Danny spent a full work week with the families, providing over 10 hours of interpreting a day in between medical staff, media, and other visitors. Additionally he spent time comforting the Ukrainian families. He learned their stories by default, as their interpreter, but he grew to care for and develop relationships with the families. He is looking forward to further assignments in Memphis.

Danny says being able to speak both to and on behalf of these Ukrainian families was an absolute honor. His family immigrated from Lviv to the United States when Danny was three years old. Country pride was a strong family value so naturally only Ukrainian was spoken at home.The last few months have been extremely difficult for Danny, his family and members in the Ukrainian Detroit community. Many of them are experiencing the same distress as they are constantly receiving updates or waiting to hear from friends and family back home. It seems impossible for many of them to focus on anything besides the war, especially when there is only so much they can do from across the world.

Danny is humbled to do his part both as an interpreter and a voice for Ukrainian people navigating these difficult times and circumstances. He is looking to create more action around this tragedy. According to him the world needs to stop watching Ukrainian people die at the hands of Russia. “How much longer are we going to watch?” he asks, “this isn’t a football game.” He believes it is time to put pressure on our government to make a more solid response.

In the meantime, Danny is collecting monetary donations, gently used toys and children’s books, English language books, Ukrainian books or media, etc. He plans to send out packages to each family in the near future. Soon the original four families will be joined by five more. If you are able or interested in donating to the Ukrainian families at St. Jude’s in Memphis, please fill out this form.

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Thank you for sharing this experience. It's very difficult not to think of 1939, right now.

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