Limbs for Liberty hosting fundraiser for wounded Ukrainians
Two Ukrainians receive treatment, Thursday’s fundraiser includes pierogis
- What: Pierogi Fest
- When: 5:30 Thursday, May 11
- Where: Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Co., Minturn
- Cost: Kids, $20; adults, $35; an all-you-can eat ticket is $50
- More info: 970-390-9145
On April 22, Limbs for Liberty, a local nonprofit that helps Ukrainians receive prosthetics, ushered two more soldiers to Colorado for treatment.
Now, 31-year-old Roman Denysiuk has a new prosthetic leg, thanks to Dr. Jeff Retallack, who’s donating his time at Hanger Clinic in Boulder. Doctors have ordered a new prosthetic foot for 49-year-old Igor Voinyi.
Denysiuk is also undergoing physical therapy to gain more flexion in the knee of his other leg. Surgeons in Ukraine had placed a rod in Denysiuk’s non-amputated leg, and it isn’t healing properly. Goat Training and Dogma Athletics, both in Edwards, are donating their services.
“Dr. Hackett (an orthopedic surgeon at The Steadman Clinic) is hoping to bypass knee surgery,” said Kelli Rohrig, co-founder of Limbs for Liberty. “Roman needs to walk on it more, but it’s painful. He’s taking 5-minute walks and working on flexibility. It’s not going to be easy, but Roman is ridiculously tough.”
Denysiuk told Rohrig that in the rehab center he sat in for months in Ukraine, there were a line of beds, “and you’d wait your turn to go into surgery and they just do what they can.”
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Between doctor and physical therapy visits, Denysiuk and Voinyi remain busy with social activities, many of which include interacting with American veterans. A couple weeks ago, they went to the Colorado Snowsports Museum to see the 10th Mountain Division displays and more. Monday morning, they attended yoga with a volunteer who teaches veterans weekly at Colorado Mountain College. On May 3, they met a few veterans, including one that worked on a submarine, at Limbs for Liberty’s $15 Kiev Mule Night at Route 6.
“They were having the time of their lives talking with this guy. It’s been really positive to pair them with American veterans,” Rohrig said. “It’s really about camaraderie — that there are veterans everywhere in the world, and the goal is the same: You defend your country. It’s a common bond they share, and it’s really positive for them to have that opportunity to see that Americans also had problems and we also had to go to war.”
The Route 6 fundraiser brought in $2,000, every penny of which benefits Ukrainians, Rohrig said.
This Thursday, Limbs for Liberty hosts another fundraiser, this time, in the form of pierogis. In case you’re not familiar with the traditional cuisine, they’re basically boiled dumplings stuffed with savory or sweet fillings, including potato and cheese (and even sauerkraut, cabbage, meat and fruits). Tickets include beer or mule, pierogis, sides and beignets. You can either purchase tickets for one plate or you can go for the all-you-can-eat extravaganza.
Denysiuk and Voinyi were a little miffed that Rohrig didn’t let them work at the Route 6 fundraiser, so they insisted on cooking for this one. They also insisted on bringing a barbecue to Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea Co. to serve the sausages that they’re cooking nice and hot. Granted, Rohrig first had to explain to them why on earth you’d have sausage and pierogis, when, in their minds, just pierogis do (she explained how they had to send people home stuffed, hence the sides and dessert).
“They were trying to understand having sausage as a side,” she said. And when they did, they said, “‘We need a barbecue. It’s not OK to serve cold sausage.’ They’re really funny.”
The Ukrainians will also speak at Rotary Club of Aspen on Thursday morning before the fundraiser. On Monday, they’ll visit seventh and eighth graders at Homestake Peak School.