My name is...Svetlana Yamanova

Posted 6/6/17

From Russia to Jeffco

I’m 47. I was born and raised in Russia and I came to the U.S. to attend school. I enjoy how free people are here. Americans have an I-can-do-it mentality.

I studied international relations and graduated from the …

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My name is...Svetlana Yamanova

Posted

From Russia to Jeffco

I’m 47. I was born and raised in Russia and I came to the U.S. to attend school. I enjoy how free people are here. Americans have an I-can-do-it mentality.

I studied international relations and graduated from the University of Denver in 2003. I moved to Wheat Ridge that year.

I enjoy the outdoors. Where I’m from in Russia, we don’t have that kind of culture. That’s why I love Colorado and living so close to the mountains.

Volunteering


I volunteer with Friendship Bridge, which is a nonprofit organization based in Lakewood. I’m a member of the Foothills Circle. We’re a group of women who does fundraising for Friendship Bridge, and Friendship Bridge micro-lends to indigenous women in Guatemala. The funds provide the Guatemalan women an opportunity to become entrepreneurs so they can start a business weaving or making jewelry, for example, to help support their families.

I also volunteer with the Golden Relief Group. I provide translation services to Russian-speaking refugees. Right now, I’m working with a family from Belarus — the mother has been struggling with her English lessons.

The great fall


On May 6, I was hiking with a friend near Boulder. There was only about a half-mile of trail left until we finished, but it was rocky. I think what happened was I tripped on one rock, and hit my knee on another. I hit it so hard that I shattered half of my patella. It swelled up right away, but I couldn’t go to the emergency room because I don’t have insurance.

A few days later, I got X-rays done and my doctor told me I could be permanently crippled if I didn’t get surgery right away so that the knee could heal properly.

So I had the surgery on May 18. I signed an agreement to pay, and they worked with me on payment arrangements since I could not pay upfront.

I was driving for Uber and Lyft as an independent contractor, but I haven’t been able to do that since the fall. Right now, I still can’t bend my knee and I’m wearing a brace that was donated to me by a medical company.

I’m very grateful to all the people who have donated to the GoFundMe. I’m really touched by the generosity of people.

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