Jun 20, 2018

You are making a difference!


Your donations have been hard at work this year.  So far in 2018, the project's funds supported five patients who needed help with travel and lodging expenses.  For example, in our last report we told you about Konstantin's story.  Thanks to your generous support, his family was able to bring him from Ukraine for a visit to Essen, Germany and get the medical attention he needed. 

In addition, we recently heard from Muazzam, a patient with Hodgkin's lymphoma from Tajikistan. This is a 30-year old woman, the mom of a little girl.  When she was 27, she enrolled into college to study math - something she dreamed about for years.  Unfortunately, soon after she began feeling unwell and started coughing, became short of breath and was constantly tired.  After months of malaise, Muazzam finally received a diagnosis and began treatment.  In her case, lymphoma resisted standard treatment and Muazzam started losing hope.  Fortunately, several new drugs were recently approved for patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma whose disease returned after treatment.  Although they weren't available in Tajikistan, Muazzam could access them in Russia, and in late 2016 she traveled to St. Petersburg for the first time. 

Since mid-2017 we have helped Muazzam afford traveling to Russia several times.  She was able to access new and effective medications and a month ago she shared great news: she achieved remission!   This means she is much closer to defeating lymphoma, getting her life back and pursuing her dreams. 

Thanks again for continuing to support this project!  We will make sure to report back on how your donations change the lives of cancer patients and bring them new hope in their difficult struggles. 

All the best,

Jun 12, 2018

Your donations continue changing lives!


We would like to thank everyone who supported us during the Bonus Day in March, our recurring donors, and everyone who had contributed since.  Because of your kindness, we were able to help two more patients with paying the bills from the donor registry in Germany.  Both of them have already received their donors' stem cells and are now in recovery period. 

One of the patients is Rinat from Surgut, an oil city in Siberia.  Rinat is the oldest of two brothers.  His father passed away, and his mom is retired.  Rinat graduated from college with a specialty in oil production, but could not find a job in the industry.  He ended up working in a warehouse.  In 2013 he started feeling unwell and blacked out a few times.  When he had a severe tonsillitis in early 2014, he had a blood test that revealed blood cancer.  After seven blocks of chemotherapy, Rinat achieved remission.  Unfortunately, a year ago he relapsed with a more complicated type of leukemia than the first time.  Only bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor would give Rinat a chance to beat leukemia - and thanks to your support he was able to use it! 

Another patient, Irina, comes from northern Russia.  She was born in Murmansk region and later moved to Karelia.  She worked as an elementary school teacher, and then as an emergency call line operator.  A year ago, Irina herself began needing help.  She suddenly grew fatigued and developed bruises over her body.  After going to a checkup, Irina was diagnosed with MDS, a pre-leukemic blood disorder.  Irina had to relocate to St. Petersburg, as the doctors in her city had no experience with the disease.  She was recommended therapy with a newly approved drug, as well as bone marrow transplant, the only chance for complete cure.  There were potential bone marrow donors for Irina, but all of them were in foreign registries.  With the help of her son, she was able to afford initial deposit, but the rest of the bill was out of reach.  Fortunately, your support enabled Irina to mobilize a donor and undergo transplantation!

Thanks again for your care for patients like Rinat and Irina.  There are many other patients like them who cannot afford donor searches on their own.  We will make sure to continue bringing their stories to you, so you know exactly who was helped and where your donation made a difference in the world.  

All the best from our team and hope you have a great summer!

With love,

May 16, 2018

Worrisome News

As relations between Russia and the West deteriorate, most of the impact is borne by the private citizens.  Recently, access to modern medications, already inadequate, has become threatened by further restrictions and bans. 

In April the U.S. Treasury announced new sanctions against oligarchs and senior officials from Russia.  In response, Russian Duma began consideration of a bill that proposes a plethora of measures, including a ban on the imports of U.S.-made medications, which account for some 10% of the Russian pharmaceutical market and are used for treatment of leukemia and other forms of cancer, HIV, Hepatitis C, and many other conditions.

While there has been a public outcry against the ban on medications, a modified proposal would simply exclude specific descriptions of the categories of U.S.-made goods, and instead leave the determination of goods to ban to the government authorities' discretion. 

We are watching closely the developments and are trying to assess their impact on the cancer patients we support.  Although most of the medications we supply to the patients are shipped from Europe or Canada, they may be manufactured in the U.S.  There is also a possibility of extending the ban to the U.S. allies.  At this time, we anticipate increased difficulty with supply of our patients with modern medications.  We hope that we can continue to rely on your support to help us find solutions to these new challenges and ensure cancer patients continue to have access to lifesaving medications. 

Thank you so much for everything that you do! 

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