Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!

by Advita Fund USA
Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!
Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!
Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!
Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!
Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!
Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!
Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!
Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!
Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!
Help Cancer Patients Access Medications!

Our project has been helping Muazzam with lifesaving medications since 2017. We first learned about her story from her sister who has been her biggest supporter and advocate. 

Muazzam was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014, when she was just 27.  Most of Hodgkin's lymphoma patients get cured with standard chemotherapy, but a minority struggle to overcome their cancer for years. Muazzam was one of the unlucky ones.

At first she was treated locally, in her native Tajikistan.  Unfortunately, she was not able to complete her standard treatment protocol due to financial difficulties and severe side effects of chemotherapy.  Then two years later she was diagnosed with disease relapse when she traveled for an examination to Russia.  Muazzam started treatment right away, but then had to return home for radiation therapy since it was too expensive to pay for out of pocket. 

Yet the treatment at home could not be finished once again because the local doctors decided against radiation.  At that point Muazzam traveled to St. Petersburg to get a second opinion.  There she was recommended a new drug, nivolumab, that was shown to be highly effective for patients like her.  She finally achieved remission in 2018 and continued to stay on the medication to keep her disease under control.  From time to time, she travels to St. Peterburg for follow up and to refill her prescriptions.  Nivolumab is still unavailable in Tajikistan, like many other modern cancer drugs. 

Our project is most valuable for patients like Muazzam, for whom lifesaving medications are available, but only if they are aware that they exist and are able to access them.  Our mission is to bridge the gaps in access to medications for the patients in the former Soviet Union.  With your support, we can continue to help patients like Muazzam.  Thank you!  

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Etoposide is one the essential cancer drugs, a chemotherapy medication used for the treatments of a number of types of cancer including lung cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, neuroblastoma, and ovarian cancer. In use since 1980s, it had disappeared from Russian hospitals in the recent years.  New regulations effectively blocked foreign suppliers from importing medications if there are domestic manufacturers.  In reality, however, Russian pharma companies have been unable to meet demand for this and other drugs, creating a severe shortage of critically important drugs in the hospitals. 

As a result, cancer patients have been left on their own and forced to find and purchase their own medications.  Parents of children with cancer have been chasing medications all over the country or buying them off the black market. 

We are working with Advita fund in St. Peterburg to help them provide these critically important medications for their patients.  Recently, we have received a request for Eto-Gry (etoposide) for two of the young patients they support. We will be able to cover the bill from a European pharmacy for 5,000 euros thanks to your support and generosity. 

We appreciate your care for severely ill patients who are facing not just the struggle for their health but also disruptive actions of their government.  We will do everything in our power to suppor them and we know that with your help we can make a difference for many patients.

Thanks again!

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This year, each and every one of our lives has been turned upside down. Yet, in the midst of this uncertainty, the generosity of supporters like you has helped us to continue buying new and effective medications for cancer patients.  So far this year we have spent over $37,000 to support cancer patients in Russia and Ukraine! 

Unfortunately, at exactly this time each year the hospitals in Russia begin experiencing medication shortages as the system of quotas Russian healthcare employs is deeply flawed and inflexible.  Until late January or even February, many cancer patients are forced to search for medications on the market and buy them out of their own pockets or seek help from charities. 

No matter the obstacles, we’ll keep working to advance our mission in the months and years to come—but we will need your continued compassion. 

The week of December 14th, GlobalGiving will match all new monthly donations at 200%!

Start a monthly donation today:

If you are able to start a new monthly donation, you’ll provide vital stability, allowing us to focus less on day-to-day fundraising and more on supporting cancer patients. Even better, setting up an automatic monthly donation is safe and easy—and you can pause or cancel your monthly gift at any time.  You can view the full terms here.

Thank you for your generous support during these challenging times! Our team wishes you and your family well during this trying holiday season.

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As we are gradually adjusting to life during pandemic, we are still working through disruptions of supply chains and travel restrictions.  However, as patients continue needing our support with medications, we have to find ways to help them.

We have been recently asked by our sister charity, Advita Fund in St Petersburg, to help pay for an antifungal drug, Amphomoronal.  It is needed to treat children with cancer who come to St. Petersburg for treatment from all over Russia.  Patients with cancer who are treated with chemotherapy or receive a bone marrow transplant have an increased risk of picking up fungal infections. Such infections can be life-threatening. Antifungal drugs are designed to prevent or overcome these infections.

We are raising funds to purchase 100 packages of Amphomoronal that will be shipped to Russia from Germany.  It is not registered in Russia and has no domestic analogues.  The government-funded healthcare does not pay for this medication, which means it is left up to the charities to supply hospitals and patients with this drug.  Your support will help us ensure that children with cancer are able to access appropriate medications at the right time and in the right dosage. 

This week, you have a great opportunity to maximize your impact - Little by Little campaign that starts on Monday, Spetember 14th, will match at 50% all donations of up to $50 through Friday, September 18th!  And if you sign up for monthly donations, they will add on another 100% of your donation!  Thank you so much for staying with our project and supporting cancer patients!

Stay safe!

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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! 

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Organization Information

Advita Fund USA

Location: Houston, Texas - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @advitausa
Project Leader:
Marina Ouano
Houston, Texas United States
$36,731 raised of $50,000 goal
635 donations
$13,269 to go
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