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Ukrainian teen injured in war needs new host family

Since September, 16-year-old Ivan Chaban has been learning to walk again. He lost his leg after being run over by a Russian tank in Ukraine — the same tank that killed his stepfather.

Chaban was in good spirits Thursday during a visit to the House of Ukraine in Balboa Park. "I like San Diego very much," he said in English with a big smile.

But things have not been easy for him. He had to undergo two surgeries on his leg.


"I had revision surgery, but two weeks ago, I started prosthetic care again ... I can walk more comfortable with no pain," Chaban said through an interpreter.

Now he's facing a new challenge. The San Diego family he and his chaperone are staying with only agreed to host him through the end of the year.

Mira Rubin is president of the House of Ukraine, which is helping Chaban find a new home. She said the search is more complicated because he doesn’t have official refugee status.

"They’re here for medical treatment. A lot of refugee resources do not apply to them," she said. Also, because Ivan is a minor, he is accompanied by a chaperone, someone must be willing to take in two guests.

Chaban said he has hope someone will open their heart and home to him again.


"I don’t believe in miracles, but I believe in people that make those miracles happen," he said.

For information on how you can help, visit the House of Ukraine website.