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He met a Fort Worth woman on a train in Poland, then she helped him get to the US

Andrew Komarov and his two children fled the war in Ukraine. Now, they've made Fort Worth home.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Andrew Komarov and his two children sat around the TV at their temporary home in Fort Worth.  

His children, Mylana and Daniel, recited English phrases from a course on YouTube.  

It looked like a typical summer break, but it was the end of a tumultuous journey to the United States after fleeing the war in Ukraine 

At the same time, it’s the beginning of their new lives in America.  

“I realized that I have to change my life completely,” Komarov said.  

That realization came after they spent his daughter's 10th birthday in a bomb shelter.  

“She was crying,” Komarov said. “I promised her it would be the last time we are celebrating like this.”  

The single dad decided they would leave Ukraine and try to get to the U.S. 

"It was unsafe, and if something would happen to the kids, I wouldn’t really forgive myself,” Komarov said.  

Their journey to the U.S. started at a crowded train station in Warsaw, Poland. 

Komarov experienced a chance encounter that changed everything for his family.  

He met Katie Stadler, a Fort Worth woman, at the train station. Stadler, who was in Poland to help Ukrainians resettle, asked Komarov if they needed a place to stay.  

Komarov accepted and told her his wish was to get his children to the U.S.  

“We talked about what their plans were, and he said he wanted to go to America and I said ‘Well, you met an American, we’ll get you to America,’” Stadler told WFAA.

That’s what they did.

“We did it together,” Stadler said. “It wasn’t easy.” 

Since Stadler’s work began, she launched a non-profit: Be Human Kindness. 

Through her non-profit, Stadler has relocated nearly 4,500 Ukrainian refugees to 25 different countries.  

"When this war broke out, my heart just immediately broke,” Stadler said. “All we wanted to do was find a way to help.” 

The kindness she showed Komarov and his children is the reason he decided to make Fort Worth his new home. Komarov felt welcomed by Stadler, who offered to sponsor him to come to the U.S.  

“It made me cry, because I asked her, I said, 'Why did you do that? You came across the ocean to help Ukraine. Why Ukrainians?' As far as I see, it’s just her heart for Ukraine,” Komarov said.  

He never thought he was leaving Ukraine forever. Now, his family looks ahead to their new lives in America.

They’ve suffered the darkness of war. Months later, they relish seeing the light through a fresh start.

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