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Ukrainian exchange student in Toronto hopes to cross Canadian border, former WNY host mom seeks for help

“I feel useless I feel like I will do so much more if I was there and I’d love to be closer to my family because at this moment I don’t know if it’ll be my last talk with them.”
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Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 09:43:14-04

BATIVIA, N.Y. (WKBW) — 18-year-old Anastasiia Sobol awaits at Seneca College in Toronto to see her next move after her semester-end while her parents stay in Ukraine to fight.

Sobol tells 7 News that she constantly keeps in touch with her parents and takes each call as her last.

“My parents are in Ukraine right now in the center of the war in this time. It’s really bad there they wake up with airstrikes, and they fall asleep air raid alerts.”

The semester soon closely ends, which puts her in a stressful position with her situation.

Lorrie Gammack, Sobol’s former host mom, continues to work tirelessly in finding a fast way to get the student to Western New York.

Gammack reached out to Congressman Chris Jacob and Chuck Schumer for their help.

“The wait time on a visitor visa on a Saturday was 359 day wait time, and last tonight was up to 505 days,” Gammack says. “Her semester ends on April 22, and she’s like. Her parents have lost all their money. Everything that they have saved is now gone because of the collapse of the banks in Ukraine.”

The Seneca College student tells 7 News she needs to be surrounded by family.

She would love to have the chance to stay with Gammack’s family if possible again.

If plans don’t work out, the 18-year-old has plans in the works when her school year finishes in a couple of weeks.

“I’m hoping to get a job and work the whole summer if I weren’t able to get to New York with Lorrie and Jim,” Sobol says. “Campus is pretty expensive for my family. They’re not able to afford it now. My family had to sell an apartment so I can come to Canada to study. So I’m going to try my best to work as many jobs as possible to pay for residence and stay here and send money to my parents.”

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