Scottsdale woman helps Ukrainian family escape war

Scottsdale family helps Ukrainian family flee to friends in Poland.
Scottsdale family helps Ukrainian family flee to friends in Poland.(Source: Dianna Bastian)
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 9:46 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Dianna Bastian and Kasia Pajic are bonded forever. Last week, they were acquaintances, now they consider each other family after they helped coordinate a rescue mission thousands of miles away in Ukraine.

“I think it was a sign from God that we needed to do this together,” said Bastian.

Bastian’s aunt and uncle, both 87, and cousin, 50, were trapped in Ukraine, hiding in bomb shelters and subways. Bastian said they were terrified but didn’t have anywhere to go. She was trying to find them a place to stay in a surrounding country but wasn’t having any luck. Her daughter, Alexis, then turned to prayer.

“I was really sad that there was a war and that my family was there,” said Alexis Bastian.

Alexis started praying for her relatives in class one day and learned her classmate had family in Poland. Last week, Bastian decided to text that girl’s mom, Pajic.

“Miracles do happen, and if you think about it, it all started with a prayer request of a 12-year-old,” said Pajic.

Pajic then reached out to her cousin in Poland, who found Bastian’s relatives a place to stay there. Two days later, they made the journey to the border. Pajic was coordinating thousands of miles away.

“As the story is unfolding, we are sending messages with pictures, full names, and what they possibly might be wearing. It felt like a military operation,” said Pajic.

Bastian says her family waited at the border for eight hours. Finally, they made it across and were united with Pajic’s cousins. Strangers were welcoming them with open arms.

“I think it highlights that we are all connected in some way. Our kids might just be classmates, but now we are connected for life. They saved my family from devastated and mass murders,” said Bastian.