Health  Russia Project #6066

Help Cancer Patients Find Bone Marrow Donors!

by Advita Fund USA

As 2017 is coming to an end, we are looking back to see what we had accomplished.  During the year this project had supported seven blood cancer patients who could not afford the search for an unrelated bone marrow donor.  Thanks to your help, we were able to contribute $30,000 to allow these patients to undergo bone marrow transplants and get another chance for cure. 

While there continues to be a number of patients who need our support with paying the bills from foreign bone marrow donor registries, some of them needs our help more than others.  For example, Natasha comes from Kunashir, one of Kuril islands in Russia's Far East.  She is a single mom of her 5-year old son Artem.  A year ago, she started developing bruises on her body, turned pale, began having headaches and became fatigued.  A blood test showed that her blood counts plummeted and Natasha was hospitalized in Hematology unit.  In February she traveled across the country to Moscow for a consultation and was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia.   The treatment for this disorder is bone marrow transplant, so Natasha was referred to St. Petersburg's Gorbacheva Institute to begin tests and start a donor search.  Unfortunately, Natasha's sister was not a good match, and she had to look for an unrelated donor.  Most times, a registry in Germany finds matching donors, but because of Natasha's rare genotype, a donor was located only in the US, and the costs were twice as high. I hope you can contribute to our effort to help Natasha get well so she can be reunited  with her little son soon. 

Thank you so much for your support for our project this year.  Have a great New Year ahead filled with joy and happiness!


Alexander is a young man from Moscow, a lawyer by training and an investigator by profession.  Three years ago he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and was hospitalized immediately.  After five cycles of chemotherapy it was necessary for him to undergo bone marrow transplantation.  Although his brother was not a fully matching donor, there were no better matches anywhere in the world.  Transplantation took place in May 2015. 

A few months later, Alexander had a relapse.  Additional therapy was administered, and while it succedded in inducing remission, it also caused severe graft versus host disease - a reaction of Alexander's own cells to presence of donor's cells.  Alexander's stomach, liver and digestive tract were affected.  Later, the disease involved his lungs, and he was put on a ventilator for a time.  Gradually, some issues resolved, but Alexander's liver continued to cause concerns to his doctors.  A new medication still undergoing clinical trials was proposed as off-label treatment.  Fortunately, it worked well for Alexander and he experienced significant improvement.  We are hopeful that he will soon overcome the last hurdles in his path to complete recovery. 

Thanks to your donations, we were recently able to buy medication that helped Alexander.  Stem cell transplants are still very risky procedures, and some patients require years to deal with after-effects of treatment.  Supporting them all the way is very important to ensure eventual success.

Thanks again for your care and support!  You help us continue to save more lives, and we treasure your trust in us.

Wishing you a most joyous holiday season!


Leukemia often strikes children and young adults, and even though our project supports patients of all ages, many of them are young people under 30.  So far this year we supported six young people with the costs of searches for bone marrow donors.  In some cases, patients need to search for the donors more than once.  For example, Petr, a cello player from St. Petersburg was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011 when he was only 16.  After disease relapse, he needed bone marrow transplantation from a donor and was able to undergo it in 2015.  But afterwards the bone marrow from the donor never engrafted fully, causing two more disease recurrences.  A new drug for leukemia became available meanwhile, and it helped Petr get into remission again.  However, he needs to receive donor's stem cell infusions periodically to maintain remission.  Over the years, the original stem cell harvest was exhausted, and Petr needed additional cells to be procured.  Thanks to donations we received this year, we were able to cover the new bill from the donor registry. 

This summer GlobalGiving is trying something different to support non-profits serving young people.  Starting at 9:00am EDT on Monday, August 7th, and running until 11:59pm EDT on International Youth Day, Saturday, August 12th, GlobalGiving will apply $13,000 in matching funds at 100% on all donations up to $250. Additionally, there is a 100% match on all recurring donations started during the campaign week (up to $250). GlobalGiving will also be giving out $2,000 worth of bonus prizes to the top 3 projects with the most funds raised and top 3 projects with the most unique donors.

We hope you will join us on August 7th or later that week and help us support young patients like Petr!  Make sure to donate early to maximize your chances of getting the match!

Thank you so much for your kindness!


Our project is continuing to grow from year to year!  So far by May we raised more than in the previous years and were able to contribute almost $19,000 to the costs of bone marrow donor searches for 5 patients with blood cancers.  These five patients are all young people, majority of them are students.  Here is just one story of our most recently supported patient. 

Ilya is 35.  He is an engineer and lives in Ivanovo in central Russia. He loves rock music, nature, traveling around Russia and swimming.  Tinkering with computers and creating websites is another passion.  Until two years ago, Ilya was rarely ill.  And then a sudden pain in his spine caused him to start visiting doctors and then landed him in a hospital.   Upon examination, Ilya was diagnosed with chronic leukemia.  Although it can be treated, Ilya needed to undergo bone marrow transplant from a donor to prevent his disease from returning. 

Ilya has no siblings, and a search in the Russian donor database yielded no matches. His data was forwarded to the German registry where a matching donor was found in March 2017.  A month later, after additional chemotherapy helped Ilya achieve remission, the doctors transplanted him the donor's stem cells.  He is now recovering.  

For the last two years, Ilya was unable to work.  His savings are depleted, and his only close relative - his mom - has been retired for many years.  Without help from people like you, it would hardly be possible for Ilya to access the right treatment at the right time. Thanks you so much for your support for Ilya and patients like him! 


As we are wrapping up the results of 2016, we can already say that however much uncertainty we face in the future, we can always rely on our supporters and their commmittment to making the world a better place.  Last year, you helped us raise over $47,000 for nine cancer patients in St. Petersburg who needed bone marrow transplants from foreign donors.  Moreover, we now have 32 recurring donors who donate to the project every month!   This is an incredible vote of confidence and we will continue to do our best to make you proud of joining forces with us! 

Currently, almost 50 patients in St. Petersburg need help with paying for the search for the donors abroad.  Among them are young professionals, students, moms and dads, daughters and sons - a cross-section of society.  Cancer, it seems, can strike anyone at any time.  That is why it is important for all of us to come together to support those who have been affected by cancer.

Young people may be particularly vulnerable, as they are only starting their careers and often have no financial cushion to fall back on.  For example, Yulia is just 22 and a recent Animal Science graduate.  As she was applying for her Master's degree admission, she started feeling unwell and had fever, fatigue and fainting spells.  A blood test uncovered blood cancer: acute myeloid leukemia.  Yulia started chemotherapy immediately, and achieved remission.  However, her treatment is not over.  She needs to undergo bone marrow transplantation from an unrelated donor to make sure that leukemia does not return.  As a matching donor was not found in Russia, she needs to pay for the search in the registry in Germany.  Yulia's dad is a retired Army officer, and her mom had passed away.  Yulia cannot afford the cost of search on her own and has to rely on our help to find a donor and have a chance to live. 

We hope to send another payment to the donor registry in Germany and support Yulia and other patients like her very soon.  Thanks again for your generosity and kindness!


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Advita Fund USA

Location: Houston, Texas - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Marina Ouano
Houston, TX United States

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.