Health  Russia Project #6066

Help Cancer Patients Find Bone Marrow Donors!

by Advita Fund USA Vetted since 2010 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Project of the Month Site Visit Verified
Rinat
Rinat

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,

Irina
Irina
Anton
Anton

Anton is a young man from Russian city of Perm near Ural mountains.  He loves music and photography.  Anton chose to become a programmer and had developed expertise in the eight years of his career.  Unfortunately, it was cut short by a worrisome diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome.  This is a blood disorder that can transform into leukemia at any moment.  The only cure for it is transplantation of bone marrow stem cells from a donor.  Until then Anton has to remain on maintenance chemotherapy and spend weeks at a time in a hospital. 

Anton began his search for a donor in Russian registries, but no matches were found.  The only potential matches were located abroad and the cost of the search amounted to 18,000 euros.  Anton is struggling with raising funds, as his dad is retired and his mom passed away.  His younger brother is a student in college. 

A few days ago we were able to support Anton and transfer 5,000 euros to German registry for the donor search bill.  How could we accomplish that?  Fortunately, we have dozens of dedicated supporters whose monthly donations allow us to have a reliable inflow of funds.  Many others make small donations periodically, but over time they add up to a significant number. 

The week of April 9th will offer another chance for our donors to show the power of small donations.  GlobalGiving will match donations up to $50 at 50% while the $50,000 in matching funds remain.  In addition, there will be $3,000 in bonus prizes for the top 5 fundraising projects. There will also be a 100% match for new recurring donations started during this week!   So mark your calendars for 9 am EDT (16:00 Moscow time) on April 9th and note that the campaign will end on April 13th. 

Can we demonstrate our strength in numbers and turn small donations into a huge impact? 

Let's hope so!   See you then!

Natasha
Natasha

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
Alexander

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!

Petr
Petr

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!

 

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Organization Information

Advita Fund USA

Location: Houston, Texas - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.advitausa.org
Project Leader:
Marina Ouano
President
Houston, TX United States

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