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Tulsa tennis coach supports family in Ukraine during war

Ira Khatsko family
Posted at 3:09 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 18:32:56-04

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa tennis coach is working to help her family in Lviv, Ukraine.

Ira Khatsko has lived in Oklahoma for 13 years. She was originally recruited to play tennis at Oklahoma State University.

She eventually graduated from Oral Roberts University and has been in Tulsa since graduation. Her family, including her mom, dad, brother, and sister-in-law, still live in Ukraine.

“It’s been worrisome, to say the least,” Khatsko said.

As the war rages on, she says she’s constantly thinking about her family.

“I definitely want to go and hug my family and be able to be with them,” she said.

Khatsko says it’s been difficult for her family members to work over the last few months. Her dad is a tennis referee, her brother is a tennis coach and her mom is a tour guide. These jobs have basically stopped since the war started.

“The area of expertise and their work really nothing is happening right now so that’s been hard,” Khatsko said.

Her friend started a GoFundMe, to make sure Khatsko’s family had money to live.

“They can have food on the table and electricity in their houses and they can take care of the newborn and the kids,” Khatsko said.

She says the death and destruction have been chilling to watch, and she’s concerned for her family.

“I don’t know how much longer they’ll be able to hold up. Hopefully there won’t be any more bombs dropping on my hometown."

She says she is proud of her people as they fight for their freedom.

“I just want the rest of the world to know we want democracy,” said Khatsko.

“We want to be independent like everybody else in the world and hopefully with the support of other countries we can achieve that."

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