A group of Doctor Who fans is reported to have stepped in to help a Ukrainian family fleeing the conflict, with offers of help even extending to help a teenage fan rebuild the collection she had to leave behind.
Mari Sai, who left Kyiv with her children, her mother-in-law, and two pets, has spoken of the gruelling journey they had to undertake to cross Europe, eventually finding sanctuary in Belgium. It was possible to take only the bare minimum of possessions, meaning daughter Sophia had to leave behind the vast majority of Doctor Who items in her collection.
“From a huge Doctor Who collection, now my daughter has got only this,” Mari said in a video on her YouTube channel, indicating the small number of items Sophia was able to take. “But we are safe. From 25th of February to 2nd of March, we were on the road for 2,187 kilometers with two grandmothers, a cat and a dog, and two teenage children.
“[My daughter] is crazy about Doctor Who. She is very sad all her collection is in Kyiv. She has got only this book [and a few toys].”
The family are now separated from Mari’s husband, who remained in Kyiv.
“He is ready to protect our Ukraine. I wanted to stay in Ukraine too but I need to move our mothers and kids and pets and get them to a safe place.”
In her video, Mari expresses thanks to those who assisted them on their journey, and who have helped them settle in their new home.
“Here in Belgium, my family have got an amazing room in a very beautiful house. We have got beds and blankets. And here, staying the first night was the first time we could sleep from evening to morning. I am very happy that I’ve got an amazing room (to stay in). I am very happy that there a lot of people who help us.”
Plymouth Herald reports that members of Facebook group Doctor Who Infinity have been “especially generous” in providing help, with members offering to send money and supplies while some have discussed finding a way to help Sophia rebuild her Doctor Who collection.