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!
Vadim is a 14-year-old boy from Ukraine. The story of his illness began in 2013 with an inflamed lymph node that quickly led to an avalanche of increasingly serious symptoms: fever, weight loss, and fatigue. Within days, a terrible diagnosis was made: stage IV anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Vadim underwent six high-dose chemotherapy cycles, and achieved remission. He was happy to be at home and enjoy life. Unfortunately, after 9 months of follow-up tests, something appeared to be wrong with his bone marrow. It turned out that Vadim developed secondary chronic myeloproliferative disease, caused by chemotherapy. The only treatment for this condition is bone marrow transplantation from a donor, and it is not done in his home country. Vadim's chance to live is very expensive. His family received a bill from a hospital in Italy for bone marrow transplantation for 120,000 euros. For Vadim's family, it is a lifetime of earnings.
We receive requests for help with stories like Vadim's every week, from many countries of the former Soviet Union. This project helps us contribute to these families' fundraising efforts and allow them beat seemingly impossible odds. On Wednesday, May 13th you can help us earn more and support more patients by donating during Bonus Day. Between 09:00:01 EDT and 23:59:59 EDT (or between 16:00 Wednesday and 7:00 Thursday Moscow time) all donations of $1,000 or less will receive a bonus from GlobalGiving. The exact percentage of the bonus will be determined after the Bonus Day, based on total amount raised.
Thanks again for your kindness and support!
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 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!
In July we asked for your support for Katya who is treated in Germany. Since then we were able to raise $2,000 and forward the money toward lodging costs. Katya and her family are very grateful to everyone!
We have recently met another young patient here in Houston. Angelina is such a happy little girl that it is hard to believe she has already had to face two different cancer diagnoses in just three years of life. First it was neuroblastoma that showed its symptoms in infancy. The treatment was very difficult and toxic, with many complications. Angelina learned to walk in the hospital and she celebrated her first birthday there. Once the treatment was over, Angelina's family was eager to leave the bad memories behind. Unfortunately, soon after her second birthday, cancer returned. This time, it was a brain tumor. Angelina had surgery and more chemotherapy to combat it. She is now being transplanted her own stem cells to make sure that cancer does not come back. Angelina's mom asked us for help with paying for medications and medical expenses, as the family's financial means are limited.
Thank you for your support for our little patients! All the families we work with appreciate not only the financial help, but also the knowledge that perfect strangers are willing to join them in their battle. It is very empowering and we cannot thank you enough for staying with us.
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Coordinator in Moscow