In December we shared great news with you: we have received a very generous donation from VMWare Foundation, which had allowed us to support several families seeking help to bring their children abroad for cancer treatment. The donation also brought us close to achieving our project goal of $25,000.
However, recently we have experienced an increase in the number of requests from families from Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Cancer care in these countries continues to lag behind that of developed countries. For this reason, we have decided to increase our project goal to $50,000. We hope to be able to provide support to as many families as we can. Our criteria for patient support remains the same: the families have to be low income, have no insurance, and the children have to lack treatment options in their own countries.
One of such little patients who currently needs help is two-year-old Michail. He was born in a young family in Odessa, Ukraine. Since birth, he has been very healthy and happy boy. But in fall of 2014 he developed a toothache, and the dentist had to take his tooth out. Beneath it, a tumor was found. At first, it appeared to be benign, but the Ukrainian doctors were unsure of the diagnosis. As Misha's condition deteriorated, his parents decided to take him to Israel for urgent evaluation. There Misha was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, with metastases in his lower jaw. Misha had to start urgent treatment. He has already completed chemotherapy, but will also need transplant of his own stem cells, surgery on his jaw, and immunotherapy. Misha is responding well to therapy and there is hope for recovery. However, the costs of treatment are very high, and Misha's family is trying hard to raise funds for their only son.
We will be very grateful for your continuing support of our project! Thank you for staying with us.
We are happy to report that we were able to help seven cancer patients with the costs of lodging this year. These patients had to travel far away from home - to Germany, USA, Israel and Singapore. Your donation made a lot of difference for these patients and I would like to express our sincere gratitude for your generosity and compassion.
Unfortunately, continuing instability, corruption and low government spending on healthcare in the fomer Soviet Union still drives many cancer patients to seek help abroad where qualified medical care is readily available. Recently, we received a request for help from the parents of a ten-year-old Danylo who was diagnosed with a brain tumor 4 years ago. He had two surgeries to remove it in his native Ukraine. Then, at a consultation in Israel, it was discovered that the tumor was not as aggressive, as Ukrainian doctors thought, and Danylo only needed regular evaluations for the last 18 months. However, during the latest round of tests in Israel, a continued growth of the tumor was detected. Now Danylo needs to travel to Israel as soon as possible to have more treatment, and his parents are scrambling to raise funds.
With the help of supporters like you we will make sure to help Danylo and other patients needing access to adequate medical care. Thanks again for staying with us! Wishing you joy, peace and prosperity in the New Year!
We are happy to share great news with you! Our project was one of the few chosen by VMWare Foundation for its annual charitable event, during which the company raised $13,000 for our little patients. What a great gift to children and their families at this time of the year!
We are also grateful to all of our recurring donors for letting us have a reliable stream of donations, and to everyone else who has given support to children with cancer from the former Soviet Union. Unfortunately, as the countries in the region remain unstable, children with cancer become some of the most vulnerable victims of continuing turbulence. As the countries lack money for modern drugs, training of doctors and development of research, many families are forced to travel abroad to give their children a chance to live.
Six-year-old Vlad's story is just one of many. Recently, he traveled with his father from their native Ukraine to Hungary. There Vlad started treatment for osteosarcoma, a dangerous type of bone cancer that affected his left leg. At home it took five long months to diagnose him, and his parents lost their faith in local doctors. Vlad's family now needs help with raising funds to finish his treatment. Vlad is a bright little boy who dreams of becoming a president of Ukraine, or a soccer player when he grows up. But for now, he has to endure daily struggles with pain and nausea to get through treatment. He also misses his mom who stayed behind with his newborn sister.
Your help will lift some of the burden of cancer from this family. Thanks again for your compassion and generosity.
Have a wonderful New Year and enjoy your holidays!