Covid-19 had changed our lives in a multitude of ways. Most of us had to stay at home for longer stretches than ever in our lives. Our activities dwindled to a few: grocery shopping, cautious walks near the house, watching more TV than we would like to admit. It seems our lives were put on pause suddenly. We are frozen in time and space as we await for the number of infections to come down.
For others, like medical workers in epidemic hot spots, things sped up instead. Their lives revolve around hundreds and thousands of patients who stream into the hospitals and often need urgent care and lightning-speed decisions.
For cancer patients, things have changed too. Supply chains have been disrupted, and it is more difficult to obtain medications manufactured abroad. Criminals have stepped in with fake medications sold on black market that cause harm to patients seeking to continue treatment. It is now more difficult to obtain government and charitable support, as funds are being diverted to relief from coronavirus infection.
Since the start of epidemic, we have helped two women obtain medications for their cancer treatment. Irina has been battling colon cancer for three years, and her cancer began growing again in early 2020. In January she managed to travel to Israel and obtain a prescription for a third-line therapy, which helped to get cancer under control. But in March, as the borders closed, she had to buy the medicine in her native Ukraine. It turned out to be fake and caused Irina to swell and gasp for breath. Irina spent a week in the hospital in recovery. Afterwards, her doctor in Israel helped to locate two packages of medication available for shipping by DHL, and we paid the bill to make sure Irina could continue necessary care.
Marina has been battling mesothelioma, rare abdominal cancer, since 2015 and needed immunotherapy medication. Prior to pandemic she could buy cheaper medication abroad. Now that shipments have ceased, she can only access medications previously brought to Ukraine, and their prices have jumped recently. We have been supporting Marina so that she was able to afford the last two medication purchases.
Our ability to offer help is dependent on our supporters, like you! And we are so grateful to know that our supporters recognize the difficulty the pandemic adds to cancer patients. We have been fortunate to maintain our donor base and we are humbled by your kindness. Thank you so much!