According to initial figures, a record amount of 2.8 million euros was raised by the ‘Gift of Life’ Cancer Treatment Foundation in 2019. The foundation ended the year 200,000 euros in the red.
The work of the foundation grew in every sense last year and more donations were raised than in 2018. The need for help has grown even more. The supervisory board of the foundation approved 310 applications from patients in 2019. Nearly 200 Estonians who were unable to be helped by the Health Insurance Fund were able to turn to our foundation for assistance. The youngest person we helped was 27 years old, and there were a lot of parents with children at home among the patients. The foundation helped dozens of people more than once throughout the year.
Donors were especially generous in December, when we raised an extra 450,000 euros.
"The foundation’s been moving towards bigger numbers every year," said ‘Gift of Life’ director Toivo Tänavsuu. “We’re most grateful for the fact that we’ve been able to continue supporting all Estonian people who come to us for help and are in our target group. Nobody has had reason to lose hope.
Last year we were saddened by the sudden passing of a few of our patients. But there were more reasons to be glad: dozens of Estonians are alive thanks to the support of our foundation and our mission remains important to so many people. The number of permanent donors we have is more than 7000 now. We received over 100,000 donations last year, with the average donation being 15.76 euros. Our fantastic family of volunteers who have encountered tens of thousands of kind Estonians at their donation boxes has grown even more as well."
The 200 people who received help from the foundation in 2019 contributed almost 300,000 euros to their own treatment. The foundation is still vexed by the fact that around 270,000 euros of the donations it received had to be paid to the state as VAT on the purchase of medications.
A total of 5% of revenue was used to cover the foundation's operating expenditure. This means that 95% of all donations go directly to the treatment costs of those in need.
"The foundation's abilities and responsibilities keep growing," Tänavsuu added. "Along with our supporters and partners we’re continuing to pursue our mission to give everyone who needs it the best possible cancer treatment at the right time, so that everyone has hope and the opportunity to live and even get back to full health. We continue to invite everyone in Estonia and businesses in the country to join us in our mission and become permanent donors, even if it’s just a few euros a month. Any one of us could end up needing the foundation’s help."