A CHESHIRE doctor from Ukraine has vowed to continue to help children and casualties suffering in her war-torn homeland.

Tania Petrenko lives in Knutsford and works as a GP in Weaverham and at the Launceston Close surgery in Winsford.

The 41-year-old mum dedicated a charity run in March last year to a little girl killed after Russians shelled a school.

Alisa Hlans, seven, died on the second day of the invasion from fatal wounds in a cluster bomb attack in Ikhyrka.

Knutsford Guardian: GP Tania Petrenko outside Launceston Close Surgery in WinsfordGP Tania Petrenko outside Launceston Close Surgery in Winsford (Image: Launceston Close Surgery)

Tania ran 34km, the distance families have to walk to avoid the gunfire, and raised £16,000 for Ukraine Charity.

This money is funding counselling and treatment to help children recover from the trauma of the conflict.

Wellwishers also helped her to collect more than £8,000 from a second 17-mile run to donate an ambulance.

This emergency vehicle now enables medics to provide lifesaving treatment to casualties injured in the atrocities.

Her fundraising efforts have also supported cancer screening and a mother and baby centre.

Speaking on the first anniversary of the war, Tania said: “It is heartbreaking.

“I wanted to raise money in memory of Alisa who was killed.

“Her grandfather tried to protect her and was lying on top of her but they both died.

“I have a dream that children of Ukraine could go to nurseries and school without fear and that health facilities and public services could work normally and are no longer targeted by Russian ammunition.

Knutsford Guardian: Cheshire GP Tania Petrenko at a protest rally against the Russian invasion in LondonCheshire GP Tania Petrenko at a protest rally against the Russian invasion in London (Image: Tania Petrenko)

“Unfortunately, 100 ambulances have been destroyed since the invasion.

“They are often targeted by the Kremlin and the medical crew has to wear bulletproof clothing.”

Tania, who has a four-year-old daughter Sophia, moved to the UK 19 years ago but is worried about her family still living in the war zone.

“We are still losing citizens,” she said. “When bodies arrive, the whole town kneels on the side of the road.

“My mum is living with me because she feels if she returned home it would be too much to hear sirens every day and see army trucks going past.

“She wouldn’t be able to sleep.”

Tania has been overwhelmed by the support and generosity she has received from the local community.

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone for their donations,” said Tania, who supports Ukrainian refugees who have found sanctuary in Cheshire.

“We have also had such a good response to families who had to flee the country.

“Around 60 people living in Knutsford opened their homes.

“Ukrainian families have told me they have been made so welcome, they feel like part of the community.”

Knutsford Guardian: Cheshire GP Tania Petrenko raised funds for the ambulance in KnutsfordCheshire GP Tania Petrenko raised funds for the ambulance in Knutsford (Image: Tania Petrenko)

Many have found jobs in cafes, bars, care homes and catering, she said, and children have settled into local schools.

Looking ahead, she is confident there will be a ceasefire.

Tania said: “I just live one day at a time but I am hopeful.

“With British, American and European communities helping financially to make Ukraine a priority, it is very heartwarming.

“I am hoping the war will end this year.”

To support Tania’s ongoing fundraising visit justgiving.com/fundraising/tetyana-petrenko1