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Local Dentist Assists Ukrainian Refugee

By Hilary Dorsey
Special to the Tribune

When San Marino resident and Rotary member Dennis Kneier asked local dentist and fellow Rotarian Dr. Fary Yassamy if she would provide critical dental services to Ukrainian refugee Zachary Shadrin pro bono, she did not hesitate to agree.
“I always want to help people; besides that, I can’t say ‘no’ to Dennis!”
Yassamy has been in practice in San Marino for 13 years. She received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from USC and served as a pre-clinical instructor at the school.
“I love living and working in San Marino. I appreciate the ‘small town’ feel and the way that the residents know and support each other,” she said.
Yassamy also values being of service to others. Before the pandemic, she volunteered with the California Dental Association to provide dental care to underserved communities in the rural Central Valley, but that program has been suspended for now.
She welcomed the opportunity to treat Shadrin, she said.
Shadrin came to California in February 2022 before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He had a short-term work visa and planned to return to his homeland after working on a movie. Once the war broke out, he decided to remain here and received a temporary protected status from the U.S. government.
He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in theater studies from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine. For the past year, Shadrin has been building a new life here on his own without family support. For the time being, he is working at a retirement home but is looking for work as a production assistant or journalism intern.
Several individuals have been eager to lend Shadrin a helping hand. Local residents Linda and Alex Varga have given him a used car; others have helped with car insurance and housing.
When Shadrin realized that he needed dental care, friends began to network to find the help that he needed. He would not have been able to afford the dental care he needed without Yassamy’s help.
In an effort to build a network of friends and supporters for Ukrainian refugees who find themselves rebuilding their lives in Southern California, a Facebook group called Ukrainian Refugee Help Network has been formed. The individual needs of refugees such as housing, transportation, home furnishings and job opportunities will be posted on the group page, and friends will follow up with these requests for help as they are able.
Shadrin will be administering the Facebook page. He can also be contacted directly by email (zacharyshadrin@gmail.com). Additional contacts are Linda Varga (LV@moreavecslaw.com), Susan Jakubowski (susanjj@att.net) and Hilary Dorsey (hhdor@aol.com).


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