The nine members of the supervisory board, which includes oncologists Dr Peeter Padrik, Dr Hele Everaus, Dr Kadri Putnik, Dr Edward Laane, Dr Hannes Jürgens and Dr Kristiina Ojamaa, decide on the general development of the foundation and the granting of the applications received by the foundation.
The other members of the board are Kristjan Rahu, Janek Mäggi and Erik Sakkov.
Peeter Padrik is an oncologist, a doctor of medical science, the director of haematology-oncology at Tartu University Hospital and chairman of the management board of the Estonian Association of Oncotherapy.
He is also a member of the international professional associations
the European Society for Medical Oncology and the American Society for Clinical
Oncology and of the specialty oncology and cancer treatment quality
committee of the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs.
"During my career as a doctor I’ve had to arrange countless applications to the Health Insurance Fund to make new medications available to Estonian patients. Many of those applications have succeeded and new medications have helped hundreds of people.
However, some applications have been rejected. New medications are unfortunately getting more expensive, their benefits are often limited or they only work for a small number of patients, so there is no sufficient reason to fund the treatment. But still there are patients suffering from serious illnesses who need these medications to live longer lives.
"The Gift of Life" is a highly appreciated
initiative in supplying cancer patients with crucial treatment. I didn't see
any reason not to be part of that," Peeter says.
Hele Everaus is an oncologist, a professor emeritus in haematology and oncology (University of Tartu) and a consultant at Tartu University Hospital.
She was the instigator of the bone marrow (hematopoietic stem cell) transplant programme in Estonia and the Baltic States.She was the founder of the bone marrow transplant programme in Estonia (the first transplant taking place in 1993) and is the chairwoman of the Estonian Bioethics Council, a member of the European Bioethics Council and a member of the advisory committee of the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme.
"Since 1991, when Estonia regained its independence, I’ve done everything to ensure that haematology and oncology patients get the treatment they need. In the early days even the most elementary medication was unavailable to us.
The situation has improved significantly since then, but treatment options are improving all the time. Therefore we’re part of a process in which the shapers and funders of health care policy are expected to be flexible and quick to respond in the best interests of patients.
I believe the foundation will underscore the need for new
and effective medications and not lose any time waiting for funding for the
necessary medication in individual cases, but help patients immediately. The
right timing of treatment is a decisive factor," Hele says.
Kristiina Ojamaa is an oncologist and the head of the oncology department at East-Tallinn Central Hospital.
Kadri Putnik is an oncologist. She has worked as a chemotherapy doctor in the oncology-haematology department of the North Estonia Medical Centre since 2011.
Her main focus is skin cancer and treatment of bone and soft tissue sarcoma.
She has been the head of the working group in this field since 2012 and the chairwoman of the management board of the Estonian Oncologist Society since autumn 2013.
"I hope the foundation gives hope and extra days to those who desperately need them. The whole world needs foundations like it for those special cases," Kadri says.
Hannes Jürgens is an oncologist at Tartu University Hospital. He specialises in the treatment of gastrointestinal tumours, renal cancer, thyroid cancer, sarcomas and other rare tumours. He is also engaged in research on the topic of personalised medicine in oncology.
“For me, above all else, the Cancer Treatment Foundation means giving hope to cancer patients who are unable to use exorbitantly priced anti-cancer drugs for treatment in situations where evidence-based, cost-effective and financed first-choice treatment is in short supply or lacking altogether,” he said. “Many of my patients have obtained help from the foundation in this way. This gives them hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. It’s a privilege that cancer patients didn’t have before. I appreciate the professionalism, dedication and determination of the foundation to help every person in need, but also to encourage society to get involved and contribute to charity.”
Edward Laane is a haematologist and the Chief Medical Officer at Kuressaare Hospital.
"In the developed world, which Estonia is a part of, cancer is the second most common cause of death after heart disease. It is said nowadays that every second or third person may be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. At the same time cancer patients can live longer thanks to improved medications.
I was motivated to join "The Gift of Life" team
by the foundation's great management and the fact that people are truly moved
by our activities. In Estonia access to newer medications is unfortunately
limited and sadly late as well. The relative situation is getting worse by
year. Thus the existence of the foundation is very important for patients
fighting cancer. It may even be their last resort for a chance to live longer.
Every day gained is invaluable," Edward says.
Janek Mäggi co-founded the Cancer Treatment Foundation. He was the founder of the public relations company Powerhouse and sits on the supervisory boards of several Estonian charities. He has been the Minister of Public Administration in the government of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.
"I was moved by Toivo's wish to help not only himself, but also those who are in a similar difficult situation. "The Gift of Life" is my second charity fund besides Tallinn Children's Hospital Foundation that I'm involved in. I want to live in Estonia and make it a better place to live day by day. I want to make my own little contribution so that society as a whole more caring and healthier. As a side effect of treating society, I want to treat patients, and as a side effect of treating patients, I want to treat society so that we love one another. More. With passion. More sincerely," Janek says.
Kristjan Rahu is an entrepreneur and was the founder of the utility and energy company Utilitas, of which he is also chairman of the supervisory board.
“The foundation’s mission is to give people hope and a chance to heal and live the most fulfilling life possible,” he said. “The commitment and ingenuity of Toivo and others in boosting the influence of the foundation in society deserves respect. The same can be said of the more than 100,000 Estonian people and companies who have supported the foundation. The myth of Estonians' lack of interest is overturned by the foundation.”
Erik Sakkov is an entrepreneur and the
honorary consul to Belgium in Estonia. He has been a senior member in companies
such as the Port of Tallinn, NT Marine, Tallinn Airport and Nordic Aviation
Erik currently runs a novel building technology company Teokarp. He is the chairman of the supervisory board of the foundation.
"I have always followed the foundation's activities with great sympathy and support. People who help others with such dedication can only evoke good emotions and desire to join in," Erik says.