Two months ago, we received a letter from Mara. Her baby son Mikael was little more than a year old. But instead of celebrating his first birthday, his family was scrambling to raise funds for life-saving treatment. Just weeks earlier, Mikael was diagnosed with a large liver tumor, hepatoblastoma. His parents took Mikael for treatment in a clinic in Munich, Germany. Proposed treatment plan included several cycles of chemotherapy and surgery. During consultations with the best doctors in their native Armenia, Mikael's parents were told that curability of this type of cancer is much higher (90-95%) in German clinics compared to the ones in Armenia where proper treatment is not provided due to low quality of equipment, medications and treatment protocols. Although at first Mikael's parents expected to be able to afford the treatment, they soon realized that they needed support of others to pay for all the bills.
We used $1,029 of the funds raised in this project to support Mikael and his family. And a few days ago, Mara shared the great news: "I am the happiest mom on earth now! My son is cancer free! Five blocks of chemotherapy, difficult surgery, fever, pain, sleepless nights and days full of stress but never despair are all behind now. With all the prayers, God's will and professionalism of his doctors - surgeons and oncologists, and good care of the nurses he recovered from his deadly disease. The tumor that was poisoning him from inside was removed completely and all other indicators are said to be OK, meaning he has no cancer cells anymore..."
Thanks again for your support got little patients like Mikael! We hope to bring you many more great stories like this one!
Our project had recently reached a halway point to our goal. Thank you so much for helping us get here! The money raised through this project go to patients who have traveled far from home and sometimes have no one else to ask for support.
Our latest support recipient is the family of a four-year-old Sofia from Russia. In 2013 she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. At first, the disease did not respond to treatment and it took seven months of high-dose chemotherapy to finally get it under control. Bone marrow transplantation was also done due to high risk of the relapse. Unfortunately, just ten months later, Sofia spiked fever and lost her appetite. Control tests diagnosed return of leukemia. For Sofia, it meant that nothing else can be done in Russia, and her parents took her to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for the second opinion. She is now undergoing treatment and will have to stay in Texas for a long time.
We have recently provided the family with $1,500 to help pay the lodging bills. Thanks again for your support of the patients!
In May our project participated in the Bonus day. A new approach was taken: while all donations made within a certain period were eligible for the bonus, the percentage was not known until two days later. We raised the total of $1,807 and the bonus amounted to 25.91%. Thank you everyone who participated! And take a note of even better opportunity coming up in July: on July 15th, as a Superstar project, we will be able to get a 50% match to the donations. Stay tuned for more information!
So where did we use the money raised? In March we transferred over $5,600 for donor search for Nikolay, an ambulance driver from Krasnodarsky krai, whose story we shared on our Facebook page.
And recently we transferred $12,425 for the donor search for Anton, a young engineer, who has lived his whole life in Perm, a city in the Urals. Anton is an avid aquarium hobbyist, a builder, and a walking encyclopedia, according to his wife. They have met when they were both 30, and were very happy together. But just months after the wedding, Anton was diagnosed with a blood disorder: myelodysplastic syndrome, refractory anemia. In the last three years Anton received 10 rounds of chemotherapy and many cycles of less toxic maintenance chemotherapy. Unfortunately, in June of 2014 he had a relapse. His only chance to overcome the disease is bone marrow transplant from a donor. Initially, there were no matching donors in the international registry or among his relatives. Anton had to begin therapy with a very expensive new drug, which exhaused any resources the young family had. And recently, after another search in the registry, several new potential matching donors were found. We are hopeful that Anton can now have a chance for transplant and will get his life back soon.
Thanks for your support, and have a great summer!