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In September, the Cancer Treatment Foundation ended up 100,000 euros in deficit, yet help was given to everyone in need

Aivar Kuusmaa and Gert Kullamäe

For the Cancer Treatment Foundation’s Gift of Life, September was a month of records in terms of help needed. This was also reflected in numbers: the foundation supported the treatment of 29 new patients and continued funding dozens of ongoing treatments. Every day, the people donating to the foundation give somebody precious hope and a chance to live.

While 165,000 euros was collected in donations throughout the month, the foundation paid medical bills worth 266,000 euros. Therefore, we ended up almost 100,000 euros in deficit. Pressure on the foundation is enormous and every donation counts.

Here is a summary of the foundation's activities in September:

We started the month with a public invitation to collect donations for the cancer treatment of a 25-year old mother of four, Signe Tamme, who lives in Kehtna municipality. More than 10,000 euros was donated for the young woman's sarcoma treatment in a short period of time.

Among the many beneficiaries is the Professor Emeritus at the University of Tartu, father, grandfather and great-grandfather Raik-Hiio Mikelsaar, who will now be able to rely on the Cancer Treatment Foundation in his battle with the severe disease. During the following two months, we will support the treatment of this gentleman, soon celebrating his 80th birthday, with nearly 8500 euros.

We continued with the charity basketball shooting contest, initiated by Betsafe and, where well-known people shoot three pointers in support of cancer patients. Gert Kullamäe, Aivar Kuusmaa, Rauno Märks, Jesper Parve, Howard Frier and his daughter Kayla, Reiner Hallik, Rain Veidemann, Allar Levandi and Lauri Pihlap have contributed in the campaign.

In cooperation with Tallinn City Theatre and Pazzo wine bar, we held five charity auctions on Facebook in a week. On each day, we auctioned off a set of tickets to one of the new shows at Tallinn City Theatre this season with a dinner at Pazzo wine bar. The five auctions added 1192 euros to the foundation.

In September, the beloved and anticipated yellow coffee cup campaign began in Circle K petrol stations. When choosing a cup for their hot drink, people have the option to choose the yellow cup: this way, they will contribute 10 cents to the Cancer Treatment Foundation, to which Circle K will add an additional 10 cents.

The hearts of Estonian people beat in sync with the foundation at the Nõmme VI Sõbra street autumn fair, the Paunvere exhibition and fair, the Inga Beauty Salon at Elva Elamusfestival and the charitable Kompass running contest. Although summer is over, the calendar of the foundation's volunteers has not cleared at all: we collected donations at Uus Maailm street festival, Kuusalu and Loksa Coop supermarkets, Tartu Kaubamaja, Stockmann, Solaris, Ülemiste centre, Oleg Pissarenko’s concert, Reet Linna’s concert tour celebrating her 75th birthday and elsewhere.

We closed a deal with HC Tallinn handball team, who will donate 50 per cent of the ticket revenue at their home games this season to the treatment of cancer patients.

We also emptied the donation box at Tallinn Airport, which had been collecting charitable deeds for a while. Inside we found 546 euros, 23 dollars, 30 pounds, 20 Polish zloty, 200 Czech crowns, 200 Danish crowns, 2100 roubles as well as notes from New Zealand, South Korea, Macedonia, the Philippines, Uganda and the South African Republic We would like to greet and thank all the contributors, especially those from further afield: it is nice to think that somebody from the other side of the world helped give an Estonian hope and a chance to live.

We celebrated the fact that from 1 October, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund will compensate for three new cancer medications – Lonsurf for bowel cancer and Kisqali and Ibrance for breast cancer treatment. In the last year and a half, the foundation has bought those three medications for almost 100 Estonians, paying hundreds of thousands of euros. 80 per cent of those people needed Lonsurf. From now on, the Health Insurance Fund will take over funding these treatments from the donors. Meanwhile, we can say that in a short period of time, we have helped so many people cross the gulf of non-financed treatment to which they would have otherwise fallen, helpless.

Christmas is just around the corner. We invite all Estonian people and companies to give up traditional and often useless Christmas presents and instead give presents of value – with a donation, you can gift cancer patients hope and time, precious time spent with their loved ones. We have various "Christmas offers" for companies that wish to do good in their team's name (and let their partners know): more information

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