St. Jude Inspire | Audio Stories

You don’t pause to say, “Should I help?” You help

Natalia Wobst and Yuri Yanishevski are ALSAC employees who have met the Ukrainian patients and their families who are being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In this podcast, they talk about their experiences. Natalia is the Senior Regional Liaison for Eurasia. Yuri is a director in Information Technology Services.


Yuri Yaneshevski

On patients being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:

“I have mixed emotions. On one hand, I want to worry about those people and those patients because I had a chance to meet them, and I saw that they are in the lowest point in their lives. They have very sick children. They came here, some of them, with nothing. Going to my mixed feelings, so worrying about the families on one end, but then knowing that they are in the best and safest place on Earth, full of caring people.”

On what he learned about volunteering after arriving in America:

“Volunteering was not the thing in the former Soviet Union. It was a learning experience, seeing what kind of a difference volunteering makes in people’s lives. That positioned us well to be able to volunteer nowadays. How much of a gap or a crater would I have in my life, if I were unable to help and meet those families a be a part of this tremendous effort? I can’t answer that question because that gap would be enormous. Very fortunate that I am in the right place at the right time.”


Natalia Wobst

On the SAFER Ukraine effort to bring patients and their families to safety:

“Initially, we had no idea the scope that we were dealing with. We knew that there were patient families crossing the border. But it soon became clear that this initiative was going to be much larger, and we needed a space that patients could be triaged to decide what is their diagnosis, how stable are they, where can we place them in a clinic – not only in Poland but in other countries in Europe and in North America.”

On working where the Ukrainian patients are now living and being treated:

“Having met the families firsthand, you can’t forget that you think about that every day. And to have a community of people who care about the fate of these families, know where they’re coming from. You don’t pause to say, ‘Should I help?’ You help.”

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Special report: Ukraine stories