Project Karina

About Karina

Karina Bondarchuk is a 15-year old from Ukraine.  She is from a small town about 1 hour outside of Kiev.  Karina was born with an enlarged tongue and has had multiple surgeries in the Ukraine to try and correct this.  She has never been able to close her mouth properly and her teeth have been impacted by this condition.  She had corrective surgeries in the Ukraine at 2months, 2yrs, 4 yrs to try to solve the problem. At 12 yrs old, we got involved and created the Karina Project. Our efforts helped fund another surgery in the Ukraine that reduced her tongue slightly.  It was enough that the Karina Project Team could also fund her to get braces. At that point, the Ukrainian doctors told us that they had done all that technology and their expertise could do. The size of Karina’s tongue still negatively impacted her ability to speak, eat, and even breathe without obstruction—not to mention the difficulty that a teenager feels with an obvious abnormality.

We decided to do something about Karina’s condition. We felt it on our heart to change her life by changing the affects of her condition. So, in 2015, we brought Karina to the USA for diagnosis. We discovered that her condition can be corrected. And now we are in the process of making it happen.

The Journey Ahead

Karina has Congenital Lymphangioma. Until she met with Dr. Jeffrey Fearon of Medical City of Dallas Children's Hospital, we didn't really know what was the cause of Karina's swollen tongue and glands. The lymphatic system in our bodies has a kind of highway system for fluids. Karina was born with some unfortunate irregularities in the lymph system around her tongue and mouth. They are like swollen spaghetti and retain the fluids that they should carry away. They lymph vessels remain dilated in a benign mass. The enlarged tongue and glands that Karina has dealt with her entire childhood have then deformed her teeth and jaw structure. Lymphangioma is not uncommon. The good news is that with some medical effort, Karina can have a near-normal tongue. The treatment usually involves an operation that removes some of the swollen mass of the lymph system in the tongue and sometimes in the neck. It requires a few days in the hospital and about a week of close care at home. The swelling then goes down over time; and, in about 9 months, the tongue is as normal as will be possible. The Karina Project Team and donors hope to raise the $40,000 for these operations and procedures during 2016. In 2017, in a separate operation, Karina will need some correction to both her upper and lower jaws. The abnormal swelling from the Lymphangioma forced some irregular growth in her jawlines that will not allow her teeth to properly align (even with braces). She will need this operation in the next year or so. It has a similar hospital stay. The Karina Project Team and donors are hoping that we can continue to help by adding this to our fundraising efforts in 2017. By then, Karina will be in her last years of high school and ready for college.   She hopes to be a surgeon. Our vision is to change her life with these operations so she can change the lives of others as a surgeon.

 The Medical Plan:

June, 2016 Surgery to reduce the tongue size
June, 2017 Surgery to correct her upper and lower jawline
2018 complete the orthodontics for a nearly normal mouth & smile

To date we have raised $15,000 of the $40,000 goal for the procedures that have been completed, the next $25,000 will fund the additional procedures that Karina needs over the next two years.
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 67 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $9,000 (Offline)
    • 67 mos
  • Marvin Blakey 
    • $200 
    • 67 mos
  • Efiong & Rose Akwaowo 
    • $250 (Offline)
    • 68 mos
  • Jerry McNatt 
    • $50 (Offline)
    • 68 mos
See all


Zane King 
Plano, TX
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