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.
In our last report we told you about Anatoli who is finishing his treatment in Israel. We are happy to report that we were able to raise $1,500 for his treatment and forward to the hospital. Anatoli and his parents are sincerely grateful. Thank you so much!
Now another child from Ukraine needs our support. Katya is only 10, but she has been fighting cancer for three years already. Initially, she was treated in Kiev and then traveled to Moscow for surgery. After 15 months of treatment, she finally achieved remission. Unfortunately, it did not last, and Katya relapsed six months later.
The only way to try to save her life was to travel abroad to Germany where new immunotherapy, unavailable in Ukraine, was offered. The cost of it, however, is very high, and as a foreigner, Katya is billed for the full cost of treatment.
Please help Katya and her family in their fight with cancer! Thank you for your support.
Anatoli is an 8-year old from Ukraine. He is a quiet boy who loves books and has a vivid imagination. Last year Anatoli suddenly fell ill. When local doctors failed to diagnose him, the family took him to Israel for treatment. Within days of arrival, Anatoli was paralyzed from waist down. A tumor in his spine was discovered and Anatoli was operated, but he remains paraplegic to this day. The doctors are administering him chemotherapy to try and shrink the tumor and restore his mobility. Anatoli is now half way through the treatment, and he needs our support to continue it and get well.
Here is his story in his own words:
Hello. My name is Anatolii. I am 8 year old.Several months ago I fell ill seriously, and I don't feel my legs right now. In spite of all the efforts of my family to find a specialist who could diagnose and help me in Ukraine, we failed.After having done the MRI check in Ukraine we went to Israel to be diagnosed in a proper way and I undergone the operation immediately, because according to MRI there was a tumor in the spine area.In Ukraine the doctors couldn't say what kind of tumor I have. So, we stayed in Israel. I was diagnosed with sarcoma and now I have being treated with chemotherapy which is very hard on me.My mother and father are also in Israel with me doing everything they can to save my life, but we are short of money and resources.I'm asking you kindly to help me and to keep me alive.I am dreaming about walking again, doing hiking and playing football with my little brother.
If you would like to support Anatoli and children like him, join us on a Bonus Day on May 7th at 9 am EDT (17:00 Moscow time). Each donation (up to $1,000) will earn 30% more from Global Giving bonus fund. Or sign up for recurrent donations, for easy automatic giving throughout the year - just click on "Monthly Recurring" tab.
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Coordinator in Moscow