Born in the Ukraine, Ilona and her sister were brought up by their grandmother at a very young age. Their father passed away soon after the Chernobyl disaster, and their mother has been very sick and unable to care for them.
Ilona’s older sister, Svetta, was 12 years old when she was rescued on CCOC’s 51st flight. After being under CCOC’s care for about four months, she begged to be reunited with her younger sister, Ilona. It was at that point that six year old Ilona left her home on CCOC’s 52nd rescue flight, reuniting her with Svetta once again.

The two girls have had very minimal contact with their mother, as she resisted all communication with them. As a result, Ilona felt a sense of abandonment and so over the years, CCOC has provided her psychological counseling to assist with this issue and to rebuild her self-esteem. With this professional help, and with CCOC’s tender loving care, she learned to cope with her situation and has become a much stronger and mature person. We are proud to say that Ilona has blossomed into a confident and secure young woman.

After graduating high school with Honors, Ilona studied to become a makeup artist and has established a career in this field. In addition, she is now pursuing a career as an Executive Assistant.

Ilona recently became engaged to Mendy S., who is 21 years old and studying to become and electrical engineer. Mazel tov Ilona and Mendy on this special occasion!