CLEVELAND (WKBN) – As efforts to help those in Ukraine continue, one Ohio woman is taking her efforts to the next level by raising money in a unique way.
How much time do you typically spend on the StairMaster? Fifteen minutes? Twenty-five? Forty-five? Try 24 hours — that’s how long Olena Sadovska spent on the StairMaster for a fundraiser.
The 18-year-old was born in Lviv, Ukraine before moving to the Cleveland area at nine months old. The majority of her family still lives in Ukraine and she couldn’t bear to sit around watching them and her country struggle.
“I knew I had to do something crazy in order to get some heads turning and grab more attention from people,” Sadovska said.
That’s when she decided to participate in a 24-hour stair walk at her gym to promote the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
The soon-to-be swimmer at The Ohio State University is advocating for U.S. and NATO military intervention to prevent needless deaths of Ukrainian civilians.
She documented her entire journey on TikTok, going viral and grabbing the attention of people around the world.
“I’m speechless. It doesn’t even feel real right now, I’m not going to lie, but I’m so thankful for everyone,” Sadovska said.
While on the StairMaster, Sadovska’s parents told her a missile had landed two miles from where she was born and had grown up. She says hearing that was her biggest motivating factor.
“That was just like, I have to keep going. I know the pain I’m experiencing is not nearly as much pain as the people in Ukraine and the people that are fighting, how much they’re experiencing,” Sadovska said.
Sadovska’s efforts raised $12,500. She plans to put the money toward a Ukrainian relief fund.
Sadovska hopes her actions inspire others to be the change they want to see.
“Everyone says they want to make an impact or change something but yet no one’s really getting up and doing that,” she said.