Help Children with Cancer Access Treatment!

by Advita Fund USA
Help Children with Cancer Access Treatment!

Six-year old Slava is from Belarus. When he was a baby, he was fussy and had unusual reactions: he made little coughs constantly and had difficulty falling asleep.  After he cried, he laughed in a strange way.  By the time he was three, the laughs were followed by long exhalations. 

After a visit to a neurologist, Slava was determined to have neurological tics and was prescribed a medication for epilepsy. The medication worked for some time, but the frequency of the tics was still growing.  After MRI study, Slava was diagnosed with 15-mm hamartoma, a benign brain tumor. 

Slava's parents took him to Japan for surgery, as it was the only way to cure his condition. The doctors operated on him in December 2021.  After surgery, Slava's parents were told that the tumor pressed on the area in his brain that was causing his unusual epilepsy-like symptoms.  Unfortunately, two months after the surgery, the symptoms returned.

At that time, Slava's parents decided to travel to Spain where a different surgical method is available to treat hamartomas.  Slava's tumor is located deep inside his brain and the surgery to remove it is highly complex and very risky and can lead to disabling complications.  His parents raised close to half of the amount needed for the surgery, but they need our help to afford the total cost of the surgery. 

If you would like to support Slava and kids like him from the former Soviet Union, please make a donation now, or during Giving Tuesday on November 29th!  All donations made during Giving Tuesday (up to $2,500 per donor) will receive incentive funds, proportionate to the total amount raised that day.  The more we raise, the more incentive funds we will receive - so please mark your calendars and join millions of others supporting their favorite charities on that day.

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Nurislam is 5. For two of those five years, he has been fighting cancer, neuroblastoma. It’s a most common solid cancer in children, and it is also one of the most aggressive, particularly when it recurs. It requires surgery, chemo and radiation therapy to get it under control. A few years ago, a new treatment, immunotherapy, was shown to improve survival chances of kids with neuroblastoma. This therapy is only available in Europe and the United States. It was not available in Nurislam’s native Kazakhstan, and his parents had to take him abroad to access this treatment.

Currently, Nurislam is in Barcelona, Spain where the doctors were able to eliminate cancer cells from most of his body. However, he still has lesions in his bones, and he needs to undergo immunotherapy to have a chance to live. Nurislam’s family sold their house and a car to pay the hospital bills, but they are still short on money as they have to pay out of pocket for all of Nurislam’s medical costs. Nurislam had recently began walking again and his family is hoping for a cure.

Thanks to your donations, we were able to offer help to Nurislam's parents, and they are deeply grateful.  If you would like to support more kids like Nurislam, you can consider signing up for recurring donations (and receive a 100% bonus from GlobalGiving).  Or donate $100 or more on Wednesday, July 20th, and receive a bonus ranging from 30-50%. 

Thank you so much for your support of brave little fighters like Nurislam! 

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With Russia's invasion of Ukraine and bombing campaign involving most of the country, including residential areas, millions of Ukrainians fled the country.  Among them are hundreds of children with cancer who are longer safe in their own country or don't have access to cancer care.  Many medical facilities have been destroyed and remaining hospitals are overhelmed with the war's casualties.

We have heard from several Ukrainian families whose children are now treated abroad.  Some were on treatment before the war, but are unable to return home.  Others had to flee across the border to Poland to escape fighting.  All of them need our support to remain on treatment and have a chance to beat cancer. 

Timur's story illustrates how much harder life has become for families of children with cancer. Two years ago Timur's family learned that he developed blood cancer (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). He went through many different tests and high-dose chemotherapy. The treatment went for two years and seemed to be working. Timur got better, even though he still had to deal with side effects of chemotherapy.

After 4 months of remission, Timur's family received terrible news that his cancer returned and transformed into myeloid leukemia (AML). In Ukraine Timur was given only 15% chance of survival and the family opted to take him to Turkey, where the treatment would be more aggressive but his odds to survive would be higher.  One of the Turkish clinics agreed to admit Timur for further chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

While his family is more hopeful for their little boy, there is no way for them to afford to pay for Timur’s treatment on their own. When Russia attacked Ukraine, Timur’s family got divided. His mom is taking care of Timur in Turkey, while his dad enlisted in the army, and his younger brother is staying in Ukraine with his grandparents. No one in the family is able to work, but Timur's treatment has to continue to keep his cancer in check.

Please mark your calendars if you would like to help Timur and patients like him.  Next week, you will be able to grow your impact when you support our project during Little by Little campaign.  It is taking place April 4-8 and matching online donations up to $50 at 50%!  Even a small donation can make a big impact when it receives a bonus match and brings hope to patients like Timur.  We are looking forward to your participation next week!

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Misha is a 4-year-old from Saratov, Russia. He is an only child, his parents’ pride and joy. When he was 3 years old, in fall of 2020, he started daycare and was often sick over the winter. When spring came, his parents hoped he would finally be able to get over all the colds. They were awaiting his blood test results, when they received a worrying call from their clinic. Misha’s blood test results showed very high leukocyte count. For his parents, it was hard to believe that a visibly healthy child who had no symptoms, could be seriously ill.

Misha urgently had additional tests. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, very high risk. This type of leukemia requires bone marrow transplant as treatment because of high risk of relapse. But first, Misha needed 4 blocks of high-dose chemotherapy. He tolerated treatment well – both physically and emotionally. Misha smiled for his mom even as he lost his hair.

The next step had to be bone marrow transplant. Neither of Misha’s parents could donate their stem cells, and it was decided to initiate the search for an unrelated donor. The search takes time, and meanwhile Misha was sent home for maintenance chemotherapy. In September 2021 Misha had a cycle of chemo at the hospital and soon after was diagnosed with Covid-19 infection. On October 25th Misha was diagnosed with a very early relapse of leukemia. He began anti-relapse chemo, but his doctors were pessimistic about his chances to achieve remission.

At that point, Misha’s parents decided to take him to Israel where he can access a wider range of medicines for leukemia and improve his survival chances. Misha’s family will have to pay out of pocket for his treatment, and have began raising funds.  Our project provided Misha with a $1000 grant.  We are very grateful to you for supporting kids like Misha and letting them gain access to better care. 

Thank you once again and hope you have a wonderful new year!

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Two-year-old Nicole has her dad's eyes and her mom's smile.  She is a happy and curious little girl who loves drawing, unicorns, and pretend play.  But in March 2021, she got sick and had symptoms of a cold. After 3 weeks of unsuccessful treatment, on March 29 she was admitted to intensive care unit in a serious condition, with a diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia. On April 23, she was finally discharged from the hospital. However, on May 5, as she was brought in for a planned X-ray control to the hospital, she was again sent to intensive care unit. For a long time, doctors could not diagnose and understand what was happening to Nicole.

On May 11, after receiving the CT scan results, Nicole’s parents learned that in less than a month a giant tumor (138x84x156 mm) had grown in her left lung (her April scans did not show any signs of tumor).  On May 20, the tumor was completely removed from the pleural cavity of Nicole’s left lung during successful radical surgery at the Cancer Institute in Kiyv, Ukraine. The surgery was the last chance to safe her life. The tumor occupied Nicole’s entire chest and was 25 cm in length. Nicole breathed with only one lung for about a month.

Nicole’s chemotherapy started a month after surgery at the insistence of the doctors, without waiting for the results of tumor testing and without an exact diagnosis. Soon after Nicole was diagnosed with a terrifying disease: Pleuropulmonary blastoma (Type III). 

Pleuropulmonary blastoma is an extremely rare cancer. In total, only 350 confirmed cases of this rare disease were registered around the world by 2017, by the International Register of Pleuropulmonary Blastoma based in Minnesota. It is very difficult to find cancer specialists around the world who had encountered patients with this diagnosis. Luckily, Nicole’s parents found the Sant Joan de Deu Hospital in Spain, which specializes in rare childhood cancers and the most difficult patients. This medical institution has a successful track record of treating Nicole’s disease. They had experience with a few patients diagnosed with pleuropulmonary blastoma and all of them were successfully treated.

However, treatment in a foreign country comes at a high cost, and Nicole’s family needs financial support to pay for therapy. Nicole had already started treatment based on a partial deposit, but her family is still raising funds to make sure she is able to complete the full course of treatment. 

Thanks to your support, we were able to contribute 1000 euros to Nicole's treatment, and her parents were incredibly grateful.  They are sending their best wishes to everyone who helps kids like Nicole at such a critical time in their young lives. 

Thanks again for your support - we are truly grateful!

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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
$65,948 raised of $100,000 goal
878 donations
$34,052 to go
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