As millions of people flee Ukraine, Jake Renner is trying to get inside the war-torn country to rescue his mom and sister.
His mother, 70-year-old Valentina, and his sister, 46-year-old Marina, are the two most important people in his life, Renner says.
He hasn’t seen them in ten years because they live in Kyiv where Jake grew up. Despite the ongoing invasion by Russian forces, they still call the Ukraine capital home.
“Time is running out,” Renner said of the dire situation his loved ones find themselves in. “They have no medicine, they have no food, they’re bunkered in. They’re two old ladies that are unable to take care of themselves. My mom cannot even move around.”
Renner said both his mother and sister have endured multiple health issues.
His mom had surgery for cancer and his sister has had two open heart surgeries, Renner said.
“I have to go get my mom physically because she’s not able to walk. I have to hold her hand or transport her in the wheelchair.”
Despite daily Russian airstrikes, neither want to leave the city where they’ve built their whole lives, so Jake is going to get them.
“I am selling all of my assets, my car and my computer,” Renner said. “I have several routes… I have coyotes. Everybody’s on standby.”
It will be a perilous journey which Renner said will include traversing through snow, forest, mountains and, most dangerous of all, a war zone.
Renner plans to document the journey with a film crew. He said he’s not even entertaining the idea that his mission will fail, but he is asking for bravery and any funds that could help with his rescue operation.
Regardless of whether or not he can get enough funds to complete the journey safely, he says he’s going to make it happen and he hopes his story will inspire others.
“I’m prepared to do this journey whether I get the funds or not,” Renner said. “I can speak and I can fight with my words. That’s what I intend to do.”
Renner has a GoFundMe account for anyone interested in donating to help him along the way. To donate, click here.