Anastasia's story is very similar to those of other kids like her whose families applied for help this year. It happens like this: a new medication becomes available in the US and Europe and gives hope to the patients who previously would have been denied further treatment. However, for various reasons it takes several years before the medication becomes approved and registered in the former Soviet Union countries. Meanwhile, doctors and patient communities begin looking for ways to access better treatments. Often families with sick kids travel to other countries where the medicine is already available and doctors have experience treating patients with it.
Anastasia is one of those kids. She is 10 years old and loves animals - horses, in particular. She has been drawing them since she was little. In January 2017 Anastasia was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Initial treatment took almost a year. Anastasia was treated in a regional cancer hospital in Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East. Unfortunately, just two weeks after returning home she started having pains in her legs – it turned out to be a symptom of disease recurrence. Anastasia’s family flew her across Russia to Moscow. There, in May 2018, she underwent a risky, but often effective procedure: bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. Unfortunately, in just 90 days Anastasia had another relapse. She then proceeded to have CAR-T cell therapy that worked for 160 days, but then yet again Anastasia relapsed. At that point she exhausted all treatment options available in Russia.
Anastasia’s parents heard about new drugs recently approved for leukemia. They brought her to Seoul, South Korea for evaluation and a second opinion. The doctors there recommended therapy with inotuzumab, a new medication that can work even in heavily pre-treated patients. They are hoping to give Anastasia one last chance to beat leukemia. The treatment with this new drug is very expensive, and Anastasia’s family is raising funds to afford therapy.
Thank you for your support for this project and patients like Anastasia! Your help allows them to access new medications without delay and improve their chances to beat cancer. We truly appreciate your kindness!