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A Letter from the Foundation's Mailbox: "Today My Doctor Said that the Tumour Was Gone!"

Here's a summary of the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation's activities in March.

In March, more than 304,000 euros was donated to the foundation. The foundation council approved the funding of the treatment of 24 people, 11 of whom are receiving the foundation's support for the first time. 

We also supported many other people whose decision to treat was made before March. All in all the foundation covered nearly 263,000 euros' worth of medical bills.
Tumour is gone!
We are supporting Erik Saar, a 51-year old family man from Tartu, in his fight with lung cancer every month for two years. Estonian people donated over 60,000 euros for his treatment in December via the Inglite aegcharity programme, fully covering his treatment needs for this year.
Read about how Erik is doing here.
On Women's Day, we received a letter from 74-year old E., whose lung cancer treatment we've been supporting with 5000 euros every month for nearly two years. She writes:
"Dear cancer treatment foundation. I cannot thank you enough. I've been doing great thanks to you. Today my doctor said that the tumour was gone! My CT scan showed that the metastases had disappeared. I wish you strength and all the best luck, so you can help more people! I have received great treatment."
Appreciation for a helping hand
"My family and I truly and sincerely appreciate all the supporters and the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation for all the help I've received," writes 56-year old I., whose cancer treatment we've been supporting with almost 5000 euros every month for nearly two years. The disease is under control and her life now has several extra floors, so to speak.
She continues: "I truly appreciate a chance to fight my disease, made possible thanks to everyone's contribution and support. It wouldn't have been possible without everyone's assistance. We would like to thank everyone for their kindness and compassion and for lending me a helping hand in my difficult fight for life and health."
We're supporting 63-year old Vahur Talve in his fight with colon cancer since the end of last year. The treatment is going well and we continue to support him. His treatment costs more than 5000 euros over the coming two months, a third of which he contributes himself.
Vahur writes: "It all started in autumn 2013, when I was diagnosed with colon cancer after analyses. We've been trying to treat it for several years and have stopped cancer from spreading, but the body has a unique ability to adapt to constantly administered medications. Now we must change the methodology of the treatment and try out other kinds of chemotherapy.
Dr Esko decided to try Lonsurf. The results of the first treatment were positive and the treatment continues. But, since the Health Insurance Fund refuses to compensate the treatment, I need to finance it myself. I turned to the cancer treatment foundation for aid and they gave me a positive answer. Thanks to you I can go on with my treatment and thus extend my life, keep myself busy as far as my health allows me to and feel useful.
I've been trying to keep a positive mindset. I still go to the Rakvere contact bridge club and I'm a hobby writer – I published a crime novel titled Karmid üheksakümnendad(The Rough 90s).
I'm a fighter who doesn't surrender easily in the face of adversity. I always go through to the end. It isn't easy to constantly go through chemotherapy and fight the tumour while in pain, but so far we've managed to keep it under control.
I'm truly grateful to the cancer treatment foundation and the donors for giving me this opportunity to extend my life. It really helps considering my family's budget, as I can only work part-time."
Support for Cardo Remmel, a well-known entrepreneur
In March, we lent a helping hand to Cardo Remmel, a 64-year old entrepreneur, and raised 10,000 euros within a single day for his treatment.
He writes: "Four years ago I found out something I was not prepared for and that thoroughly changed the lives of both my loved ones and me. I'm not complaining about all the surgeries, pain and weeks I had to spend in hospital. I saw with my own eyes how many dedicated doctors, nurses and caregivers we have and the workload they have to bear.
It was much harder to accept that I had to give up my work and many activities important to my family may be left unfinished.
Yet there is hope for finding treatment regimen better suited for my body. But sadly it does not fit in the support system of our traditional medicine.
No matter what becomes of me, my family and I are truly grateful to the people who are dedicated to this foundation and its supporting."
Read more about Cardo Remmel's fight here.
Read the news article here.
For Andrit to see her grandchildren
In March, we started funding the lung cancer treatment of 49-year old Andrit Palm from Rakvere. Her medication named Keytruda costs over 17,000 euros in the coming three months.
Andrit writes: "I was diagnosed with cancer in the upper right part of my lung. My left lung is also not okay. I was diagnosed with it in the beginning of November 2016, when the metastases had spread to the spine in my lower back.
I was suffering from serious back pain. The lung picture revealing the cancer was taken in April 2016, but none of the local doctors noticed the tumour. Thus the treatment began six months later thanks to the doctors of the North Estonia Medical Centre.
Chemotherapy was difficult for me. I lost my strength and about 20 kilograms in my weight. The disease has remained stable for the last six months. But now my treating physician Dr Kersti Oselin says that the disease has relapsed and new treatment is required.
I'm 49 years old and have raised a daughter who is now a Master's student in the Tallinn University of Technology. It is my greatest hope and wish to see her graduate and my grandchildren born and grow.
I wish to be cured so I too can contribute to Estonian people's health for many years to come. I have not stopped contributing to the cancer treatment foundation, even while being ill. I feel really hopeful about the treatment provided for by the foundation and becoming cured. I would like to thank all the supporters and wish the foundation had strength to keep up their noble activities for a long time."
For Ott to raise his sons
In March, we also supported Ott Paakspuu, a 57-year old family man from Saaremaa, in his fight with lung cancer, whose treatment (Keytruda) costs nearly 17,000 euros over the coming three months.
He writes: "I was diagnosed with cancer on 1 November when the doctor said I have late stage cancer. Before that I didn't even suspect that the way I was feeling may have something to do with cancer. I felt tired and tried to rest before going on with my chores. I usually do a lot of physical work in my country home in summer. I chop wood, stack them up, mow and work in the field a little bit. Last summer I was not able to fully prepare for the winter, but I thought I was just getting old.
In August coughing fits started. I thought I had caught cold or had some sort of viral infection and sought relief from over-the-counter drugs. Since my condition deteriorated, I was able to sleep only in a semi-upright position and coughing fits still troubled me, I made a GP appointment and waited yet another two weeks before I could even talk about my condition.
They took an x-ray picture, which caused them to think I may need a CT scan. The local doctor referred me to Tallinn. I still go to work in spite of everything, because I have two teenage boys (two of my older children live in Tallinn) and an elderly mother to take care of.
My wife and sons currently need to take care of the household and me, because I can't lift or do anything, as I immediately cough up blood. To be fair, my family and loved ones are always there for me, supporting and helping me, so I can fare better in terms of my illness and they hope I'll eventually conquer it. My colleagues are also understanding and I get days off if I need to go to Tallinn for treatment.
My doctor recommends new treatment because I've taken longer to recover after every chemotherapy treatment and it's becoming increasingly painful and more difficult to manage daily life. Since I've done everything I could to be cured or at least beat cancer, I hope that a more fitting medication helps me to better get on with my life, so that I wouldn't have to quit my job.
I'm really grateful to the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation. I can take care of my family, see my smaller boys grow up and my mother can live with us, surrounded by her family."
A present from jubilee Vello
Vello Tarem celebrated his 80thanniversary at the Pärnu Yacht Club in the beginning of March. His daughter Kristina Penu wrote the foundation that her father asked all the guests to put their gift into envelope.
"He held a very touching speech at the party and let everyone know that he wished to donate all the gift money to your foundation. His speech was followed by a moment of silence and an applause that could bring down the house, it truly warmed our hearts!" Kristina said.
"Dad battled prostate cancer for nearly three years and emerged victorious. This is the way he and all of us wish to thank your foundation for your incredibly big and highly appreciated fight. We wish you and your team all the strength in the world!"
Vello's guests raised 800 euros for the cancer treatment foundation, giving someone a chance to live.
In the beginning of March, another jubilee, this time IT and Development Centre of the Ministry of the Interior, celebrated its 10thanniversary at the Seaplane Harbour. The guests had a chance to donate into the cancer treatment foundation's donation boxes when buying cocktails, raising all in all 455 euros.
The centre maintains and develops internal security-related information systems (PSAP, Rescue Board, Police and Border Guard Board, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences and Ministry of the Interior).
"This celebration was important to us. We've been active for only ten years and our people work with a great sense of mission. It motivates them that by doing their everyday job they contribute to ensuring the internal security, thus implicitly helping their own loved ones. We're eager to give back to society in other ways as well, such as by donating," says Agne Kaur, communication specialist of the centre.
The Pagaripoisid bakery engages in charity
As from February all gourmets can buy delicious cloudberry and cottage cheese Estonian centennial cake on chocolaty black bread base decorated with caramelised reindeer moss from the Pagaripoisid bakery.
The bakery donates 1 euro to cancer patients for every cake sold. The cake can be bought from Rimi, Kaubamaja, Coop, Stockmann, Selver, Solaris and Delice.
1200 cakes were sold in February and the bakery thus donated 1200 euros to cancer patients.
A gift to a young woman
In March, we raised donations at the Creative Hub where the grand EY Estonia's Entrepreneur of the Year gala took place. Estonian entrepreneurs and politicians raised nearly 3000 euros for cancer patients.
This time we raised donations for a specific patient – a 34-year old woman fighting cervical cancer with the foundation's help since autumn, whose monthly treatment we support with 2000 euros.
Cancer treatment foundation's donation box in the superministry building
In March, a stationary donation box of the cancer treatment foundation was installed in the café of the so-called superministry building at 1 Suur-Ameerika St. That way all the officials can do good when they go for a lunch.
"There are several ministers and ministries in the building, who should take care of people's health. Perhaps it brings the subject more to their attention when they see your donation box every day," says café operator Aivar Jõgi, whose idea it was to set up a donation box.
Bee-flies raise more than 1000 euros for the foundation
In the beginning of March, we received a letter from craftsman Marju Veeret, author of the Lillelapsiku Loomaaed handicraft blog. She had come up with a fantastic idea to rally Estonian handicraft enthusiasts and together crochet a single character and then hold a charity sale of the crocheted toys to support the cancer treatment foundation.
A couple hundred Estonian craftsmen got to work and soon they had crocheted a whole bunch of bee-flies. By mid-April more than 1000 euros had been raised in the "adoption fees" of the bee-flies.
In March, we also raised donations during the Eesti Laulcompetition final at the Saku Suurhall Arena (€800) and during many other events. Organisers of the Maksud Lätticampaign, protesting against increase in excise duty on alcohol, donated 800 euros to the foundation.
Celebrating our birthday with our volunteers and supporters
On 2 March, volunteers and major donors of the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation gathered in the Umami restaurant to celebrate the foundation's 4thanniversary and lives gifted last year.
The guests were entertained by the Redel Ruudus instrumental duo, Kalle Sepp, the winner of the Estonian show Your Face Sounds Familiar 2016, and a personal friend of Konstantin Päts, the first President of Estonia, Ivan Orav aka Andrus Vaarik.
The Umami restaurant took care of catering. Mare Võting and Kirsti Link provided the cakes.
Read more and check out the gallery here.
In March, a group of the foundation's volunteers travelled to Brussels, where they checked out the European Parliament and the European Commission and met with politicians Kaja Kallas and Andrus Ansip. The European Parliament covered the travel costs.
In March, we sold a painting of a legendary and recognised painter Malle Leis (1940-2017) on a charity auction held in Facebook. The painting was made in 1982 and was donated to the foundation by a cancer patient supported by the foundation.
Donation possibilities
You can still visit our website and have your donation added to your phone bill. It's really simple: just enter the amount of your donation and your mobile number.
Customers of Elisa and Tele2 can make donations of up to five euros with the click of a mouse. Larger donations, regular donations and/or donations made via the Telia mobile network need to be confirmed with an SMS. The service works in all networks. The amount of the donation is added to your phone bill next month. The service fee is 5%.
The technical solution for microdonations was made by Zlick, an Estonian start-up, which made it work in cooperation with the Sviiter creative agency.
You can now make a donation by bankcard in Circle K stations in addition to cash donations. Just ask the cashier to add the donation to your receipt.
Want to support cancer patients with the gift of life?
On our website you can use bank links to become a regular benefactor within seconds.

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Wishing you lovely spring
Katrin Kuusemäe
The CEO of the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation
Toivo Tänavsuu
The head and founder of the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation

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