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Highlands Ranch woman travels thousands of miles to bring her Ukrainian mother to Colorado

Highlands Ranch woman shares journey to help mother leave Ukraine
Posted at 10:42 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 17:06:31-04

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — A Highlands Ranch woman can finally breathe a sigh of relief after a month-long process ended with her Ukrainian mother's arrival in Colorado.

Oksana Dovgan is orginally from Ukraine but has called Colorado home for the past several years. She is now settled in Highlands Ranch with her husband and children.

In mid-March, Dovgan says she realized her mother needed to leave their home country.

"In the beginning, it was hard to judge right away how serious everything was," she said. "[My mother] would message, 'I'm alive,' every day for a couple days in the very beginning, and then she disappeared for a couple of days."

Dovgan arranged for her mother to travel from Chernihiv, Ukraine, to Warsaw, Poland.

"If my mom is ready to leave her home and pack everything in one backpack... I felt that it's my turn," the daughter said. "It's actually time for me to arrange it for her."

Dovgan met her mom in Poland, and then together, they traveled to Mexico in hopes her mom could finally gain entry to the United States.

"She got the humanitarian parole for one year, which is the single entry," Dovgan said.

The United States has drastically increased the number of Ukranians allowed through the southern border via the humanitarian parole process. The process allows people to quickly enter the United States, but does not provide permanent protection.

"[My mother] says after what she's been through, she's just very thankful to be safe," Dovgan said. "I have three daughters, so they're very happy to have grandma with them. And since I'm kind of on the safe side, I want to be a more of an active participant [in helping Ukraine]."