Ksenia Gonchar, (nee Smetanenko) was born in Moscow, Russia, to academic parents. She is married to professional hockey player Sergei Gonchar of the Ottawa Senators. They met at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Ksenia lost her mother early to breast cancer and also has a relative who was handicapped after a car accident.
This opened her eyes to the plight of handicapped orphans. After years of working on fundraisers for different causes, she is very excited to have her own foundation that helps children, especially orphan and handicapped children.
Lena McMahan was born and raised in Odessa in the former Soviet Union Republic of Ukraine. As a teenager Lena moved to Germany with her family. Once she graduated from high school Lena decided to get her college degree in the US. In 2003 she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Finance (with a straight A average) from Iona College in New York.
After a brief career in the hedge fund industry, she became an entrepreneur and founded a modeling agency and events management company in Dubai, UAE. She managed the company until family obligations led her to return to the U.S. two years later.
Once back in the US she met Ksenia Gonchar and found that they had a shared vision: to leave a legacy of positive influence on children worldwide through financial, educational, medical and developmental support. To date the Big Dreams Children Foundation has helped children in the U.S., Argentina, and Russia.