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May 31, 2019

Elena's chance


Our latest support recipient is Elena, a widow from Volgograd.  She was initially diagnosed with acute myelomonoblastic leukemia in 2011.  Her son Pavel was 7 years old then, and he spent a year living with his 77-year old grandmother while his mom was hospitalized.  Eventually, Elena recovered and returned home.  Things went back to normal:  Elena worked as a pharmacist, while her son was doing well in school.  Every summer they went to vacation at Black sea resorts. 

Unexpectedly, in April 2018 Elena had a relapse of her disease.  She had to start chemotherapy again, and this time she also needed bone marrow transplant from a donor.  There were no matching donors in Russian registries, but potential donors were found abroad.  The cost of the search is 18,000 euros, plus additional charges to deliver transplant by courier.  This is Elena's only chance to beat her disease and see her son grow up.  Pavel is currently 14, and he cannot imagine his world without his mom.   His grandmother is very old and frail now, and she no longer leaves her house. 

Thanks to your help, we were able to pay off Elena's debt to the donor registry in Germany.  Three weeks ago she underwent stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor and she is now recovering.  She feels rather well overall, but is not yet allowed to get up due to a blood clot that formed in her vein and requires therapy with blood thinners.  Thanks again for supporting patients like Elena who have few people to turn to for help.    We are wishing her the speediest recovery!

May 7, 2019

Meet the patients you have helped!


Sometimes the medications we purchase as part of this project get distributed to several patients at once, or the purchase is part of the future supply in case of an emergency.  Still, we wanted to bring you a few of the patient stories to illustrate why your support is so important and who the beneficiaries are.  

Some of the patients are young people just starting out their lives and already facing a mortal danger:  Alexander is only 19, but he is already a veteran of cancer battles.  First diagnosed with lymphoma 6 years ago, he had numerous cycles of chemotherapy and radiation, then further treatment in Korea after a relapse.  In 2016 Alexander returned home and began trying to restart his life - he started studying IT in college and got a telemarketing job.  Unfortunately, cancer recurred once again 20 months later.  This time, he traveled to St. Petersburg for therapy with a new immunotherapy drug.  The therapy worked!  By now, Alexander completed 24 cycles of treatment and continues to respond. 

Other patients are approaching middle age: caring for their own children, supporting their aging parents, and also dealing with mounting financial pressures due to cancer.  Olga is 47, elementary teacher by profession and a mother of two kids.  Like Alexander, she has been fighting lymphoma for a long time - almost 10 years.  During that time she underwent 26 cycles of chemotherapy and became resistant to traditional drugs.  Immunotherapy offered her a different approach to treatment that mobilized her immune system to fight cancer.  Olga is now doing well and needs to continue this therapy.

Your help provided an immeasurable relief to patients like Alexander and Olga - not only monetary, but also emotional, as a show of support and care.  Thank you so much for your kindness! 



Mar 22, 2019

Small donations make big difference!

Two weeks from now we will again join Little by Little Matching Campaign which will run from April 8th - 12th. During this five-day campaign GlobalGiving will match donations up to $50 at 60% with $50,000 in matching funds and additional $5,000 in bonus prizes!  And if you sign up for a recurring donation of up to $200, it will receive 100% match – if you donate for 4 months or more. 

This is a great opportunity to increase your impact!  Every one-time donation of $50 will turn into $80 worth of patient support.  A monthly donation of $200 will grow to $1,000 after 4 months – enough to fund a grant for a family of child with cancer that needs to travel abroad for treatment.    

Most of the donations we receive are in the $10-$25 range.  Yet, they account for 65% of the total raised!  Without contributions from our friends, neighbors, and people from all over the world, we would be far less effective.  If we relied only on large donors, we would not be able to sustain our operations all year long. 

As we near summer, many of our supporters are planning vacations, family visits, and weekend getaways.  During this time, we generally get fewer donations as people’s attention turns inward.  A successful campaign will help us get through this “dry spell” and allow us to provide support to patients who need it. 

One of these patients is 8-year old Ali from Chechnya.  Ali suffers from recurring lymphoma, and he already went through almost all treatments that modern medicine can offer: chemotherapy, surgery, transplant of stem cells from a donor, and therapy with CAR-T cells.  Unfortunately, his disease persisted.  Ali only had one more option available: treatment with CAR-T cells targeting a different protein, either in the US or China.  As this therapy had wait-listed patients in the US, Ali’s family decided to travel to China.  Next week he is scheduled to receive the infusion of cells, and his family is anxiously awaiting response. 

Thank you for supporting our project and we hope you join our campaign on April 8th!

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