The foundation's operations are managed on a daily basis by our salaried CEO Margit Saar, who works in co-operation with Toivo Tänavsuu, the founder of the foundation and a member of the board.
Decisions about support are made by the Council.
Volunteers from very different professions are of great assistance in
Margit Saar, who took up leadership of The Gift of Life in July 2023, has a long career in the field of marketing and communications in addition to having led various teams. She has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Tartu and has completed the Master’s Programme in European Studies.
Margit first came into contact with the Gift of Life foundation many years ago when her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. “He had a rare form of cancer and though the medication he needed was available, it wasn’t covered by the Health Insurance Fund, so we had to ask for help from the cancer treatment foundation to pay for the medication costing thousands of euros per month.
Thanks to Toivo Tänavsuu, we felt supported in every way and felt like we had won the lottery every time a positive decision was made to keep supporting his treatment. Our family gained almost four priceless years. It was truly the gift of life."
Toivo Tänavsuu, the founder and director of the charity, works alongside the CEO.
By a decision of the President of the Republic of Estonia, Toivo was awarded the Order of the Estonian Red Cross, IV Class in 2018.
“Thanks to his selfless work, many cancer patients have obtained relief from their serious illness,” President Kersti Kaljulaid remarked. “His work in helping small children is particularly admirable.”
Estonian doctors and nurses have voted Toivo one of the top three "Medicine Influencers of the Year" via a questionnaire in the Äripäev newspaper’s medical supplement.
Toivo worked as a journalist for 20 years and is now studying in Tartu University to become a doctor.
"My mother Hille battled cancer for more than seven years. Even with her bad health she gained an extra year of life because she agreed to a ridiculously expensive course of treatment – 5400 euros. The Health Insurance Fund didn't consider covering it cost-effective, but thanks to kind-hearted supporters my mother gained an extra year of life and saw the birth of another grandchild. The foundation is the natural progression of her amazing story.
My mother's fight is over now, but hundreds of people are fighting the same problem around the country. We want to bring together warm hearts to give an invaluable gift to those battling cancer – hope and life," Toivo says.