Help Cancer Patients Pay for Travel Expenses!

by Advita Fund USA
Help Cancer Patients Pay for Travel Expenses!
Zlata
Zlata
This year we are continuing to receive many requests for help with travel and treatment costs from patients with cancer.  Even though pandemic slowed down some travel, many families are still forced to look for ways to access better care for their loved ones.  Little Zlata is one of such patients. 

She was born on December 12, 2015 in Dnipro, Ukraine. In late 2020 Zlata was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma of the left adrenal gland that had already mestastasized throughout her body. She had a surgery to remove the tumor and received chemotherapy in her native Ukraine.  She did not tolerate it well and it was very hard for the whole family.  After chemotherapy administration, Zlata was twice moved to intensive care.  Her parents were in constant pain and anxiety over her condition, particularly once the doctors gave Zlata a negative prognsis.  Zlata's parents searched urgently for hospitals around the world looking for specialists in neuroblastoma who could give Zlata a chance to recover.   They received an invitation for treatment from Barcelona, Spain where doctors used US-developed antibody treatment to improve outcomes of existing therapies for neuroblastoma. This news gave them the strength to fight on, but the treatment is too expensive for Zlata's family and they've asked us for support. 

We were able to contribute 1,000 euros to Zlata's travel and treatment costs thanks to people like you!  We appreciate your care for cancer patients and support of our project. 
Thanks again and stay warm! 
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Anna
Anna

This year has been very difficult for cancer patients trying to access treatment they need when it is not available in their home countries.  With closed borders and quarantines, doctors and nurses diverted to fight pandemic, and delays and cancellations of clinical trials, patients had to accept less effective treatment or postpone their procedures. 

Some patients are still able to travel, however, and some hospitals are still accepting international patients.  We have seen a flow of pediatric cancer patients from Ukraine to Spain, for example. Anna is one of such patients.

Anna is a bright and happy 15-year old.  In spring of 2019 a classmate pushed her, and she ended up with a back trauma that healed over time.  But six months later, she began having pain in her pelvis and started limping.  Anna's parents took her to a neurologist and she was diagnosed with an inflamed muscle nerve and pelvic tilt.  The treatment did not help.  A month later, Anna had to start using crutches to move around.  Then Anna was admitted in a different hospital where she spent two weeks being evaluated.  Shockingly, she was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, stage IV and metastases in her lungs.

Anna was referred to the National Cancer Institute in Kiev where her diagnosis was confirmed and treatment recommendations issued.  She began treatment.  But certain treatment procedures are not available in Ukraine, and after Anna completed initial chemotherapy her family took her to Spain to continue highly specialized treament. 

Anna still has to undergo autologous stem cell transplant, surgery to replace her pelvic bone with an implant, and maintenance treatment.  All of this is very expensive and her family needs our support.  Your help will make sure Anna gets the treatment she needs to get well. 

Thank you so much for supporting Anna and cancer patients like her!  We really appreciate your selfless care for kids with cancer - even during pandemic, when all of us are facing so many new challenges and trying to adapt to a new reality.   

Take care and stay well!

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Mihail
Mihail

Mihail is from Moldova, a father of two young girls.  In 2016 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that is generally benign, but in some cases can present as a malignant tumor and grow and spead aggressively.  Unfortunately, Mihail's tumor was behaving atypically and he needed surgery to remove it.  Due to its difficult location, only a partial removal was possible.  Following surgery, Mihail had 30 sessions of radiation therapy to prevent tumor re-growth.  And for 18 months the family could breathe easier as Mihail had no symptoms of disease. 

However, in 2019 Mihail once again began experiencing tumor progression. The local specialists in Moldova rarely see brain tumors like Mihail's and they lacked expertise to attempt total tumor removal.  Mihail and his wife began searching for second opinions abroad.  Nearby, in Germany, they were able to find doctors with experience with his type of tumor and the family traveled there in early 2020, just as coronavirus pandemic struck Europe. This time, Mihail's left eye invaded by the tumor and nearby tissues had to be removed.  Post-surgery Mihail suffered from a stroke and had a difficult recovery, but he is finally turning the corner.  The costs of treatment have increased substantially due to longer than expected treatment, and Mihail's family was very grateful for support from our project. 

We are wishing Mihail quickest recovery possible and would like to thank you for your support.  Thank you for offering helping hand to patients like Mihail who have to travel abroad to have a chance to beat cancer. 

Stay safe!

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Pavel
Pavel

Little Pavel is only three, but already he is facing a battle with cancer.  During Christmas holidays he started feeling unwell.  It seemed like a cold at first, but then he developed fever, vomiting and fatigue.  His stomach extended and he developed bruising around his eyes.  On January 9th his family took him to the hospital and an abdominal tumor was found on ultrasound. After extensive testing, Pavel was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, a most common solid tumor in childhood.

This type of cancer can be cured, but about half of the kids relapse.  Recently, a new therapy with antibodies was added to standard treatment that improves survival by 20%.  However, this therapy is only available in developed countries, and Pavel would not be able to receive it in his native Ukraine.

Pavel's family started treatment in Ukraine, but decided to take him to Spain to access antibody therapy.  His family is facing a very difficult time, and your help will help alleviate this burden and allow them to travel to Spain.  Thank you so much for being part of this project and supporting families during desperate times! 

 

 

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Ivan in summer 2019
Ivan in summer 2019

Happy Giving Tuesday!  Thank you for joining us today in celebrating the day of giving, sharing and remembering.  As you know, our work centers around supporting cancer patients from the former Soviet Union.  Unfortunately, countries in that region are significantly behind developed countries in the quality of cancer care.  This gap is even more pronounced in pediatric cancer.  For example, procedures like bone marrow transplants are still not available to children with cancer in Ukraine.  New and more effective medications take many years before making their way to the countries in the region. 

Ivan's case is typical for child diagnosed with cancer in Ukraine.  His fight for his life began 9 years ago, when he was only 4. On September 2, 2010 to his parents’ utter shock he was diagnosed with acute leukemia. Ivan was treated at the local hospital in Nikolaev, Ukraine and the treatment went well. Once he completed it, Ivan went back to preschool and then entered elementary. Suddenly, when he was 8, Ivan collapsed with partial paralysis and loss of consciousness. The testing revealed recurrence of acute leukemia, and this time only bone marrow transplant could give Ivan hope for recovery.  As it was not available to Ivan in Ukraine, in July 2015 his family took him to Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, Italy.   In November of that year Ivan received donor’s bone marrow transplant. Again, Ivan was able to return to normal life – school and hobbies, math and kickboxing. His family hoped the worst was behind them. Unfortunately, four years later, in September 2019, Ivan started feeling unwell during practice.  As it turned out, he had a second relapse. His family was shuttered by the news, but they came together and decided to return to Italy for treatment, as the local doctors had no experience treating patients post bone marrow relapse. Currently, Ivan is receiving immunotherapy and he is responding well. Ivan’s parents are unable to work as they are taking care of Ivan in Italy.  They need our support to ensure Ivan is able to finish his treatment. 

Thanks to your kindness, we were able to grant Ivan's family with 1,000 euros to pay for the costs of living and lodging.  If you would like to support other patients like Ivan, please donate to our project today!  Your donation will be able to receive additional matching from GlobalGiving and help us earn bonus funds!  

Thanks again for your generosity and support of our efforts! 

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Advita Fund USA

Location: Houston, Texas - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @advitausa
Project Leader:
Marina Ouano
President
Houston, Texas United States
$24,470 raised of $30,000 goal
 
459 donations
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