In November, the council of the Gift of Life cancer treatment foundation approved the funding of ten people. Among others a 33-year old woman from Tallinn fighting cervical cancer was given hope and a chance to live by receiving crucial treatment. Her Avastin treatment costs nearly 9000 euros in the coming months.
The foundation also provides a 50-year old Tallinn woman also suffering from cervical cancer with Avastin.
She writes: "I was diagnosed with cancer in August 2016, when it had already entered stage four. Despite checking my health often at the doctor's, the cancer had managed to hide itself around the corner, so to speak. I went through radiotherapy, followed by the supporting chemotherapy. Those were tough times physically.
My treating physician was optimistic that it was going to stop there. But in October this year we found out the sad truth that the metastases had spread to other organs and new tumours had appeared.
This news knocked our entire family off their feet, but my decision to not give up just yet and to not die before my time and the support of my loving family and their strong hugs gave me strength to go on with treatment. It turned out that a medication named Avastin could also help me, but sadly the Health Insurance Fund does not compensate this in the case of my diagnosis. The cost is not small – more than 2000 euros per treatment. Unfortunately, my family cannot afford to pay such amount every three weeks.
As a last resort, we decided to ask for the aid of the Gift of Life cancer treatment foundation. All of my family cheered when the foundation gave us a positive reply. This means that I can see my son graduating basic school and hopefully his upper secondary school graduation as well. I can congratulate my daughter for receiving her bachelor's degree and then her master's degree. I will hopefully see my grandchildren as well and grow old with my loving husband.
In a word, I can spend as much time as possible with my family, relatives and friends – people dear to me.
I truly appreciate all the supporters, because it is thanks to you that the Gift of Life can support those in need."
The foundation helps a 46-year old woman from Pärnu fight lung cancer. Her medication named Keytruda costs over 17,000 euros in the coming months.
A 74-year old woman receives treatment with lung cancer medication Xalkori that the foundation supports with more than 14,000 euros.
A 54-year old and a 75-year old woman both suffer from bowel cancer – the foundation lent them a helping hand. A 60-year old man is suffering from thyroid cancer. The Gift of Life supports his treatment with several thousand euros a month and he has been receiving the treatment with the foundation's support for several years.
A 77-year old man from Tallinn suffering from leukaemia will receive a medication named Imbruvica thanks to the foundation's support, which will cost more than 18,000 euros in the coming months.
A 66-year old man from Tartu is suffering from thyroid cancer and the Gift of Life buys him a medication named Nexavar, which costs more than 1000 euros a month.
"I would like to thank you and all the kind benefactors for supporting my treatment this time. I have been facing this terrible disease for nearly a decade now. After a major surgery I received iodine therapy for several times that seemed promising initially, but eventually failed to show the desired results.
Three years ago I had to undergo another surgery. After that the situation became somewhat more stabilised, but the examination carried out last year revealed that the disease had reactivated. The treating physician decided to try out a new medication that was partially compensated by the Health Insurance Fund. A two-month treatment showed that the medication worked really well. After a break of one year I needed yet another treatment, but without the foundation's support it would have been really complicated.
In order to not be only at the receiving end and understanding that the foundation may be the last hope for many cancer patients, my family and I have also become regular benefactors for the foundation, thus making our own little contribution for some people in need."
A 58-year old man from Lääne-Viru County is suffering from melanoma and needs a medication named Keytruda that costs more than 6000 euros a month. His family has initiated a campaign in a small way in his social circle, asking people to make a special donation to the foundation. His family believes that starting from January 2018 the Health Insurance Fund starts to compensate the said medication and should it happen, they want to use the funds raised during the campaign for other patients' treatments.
In 2017, the Gift of Life cancer treatment foundation has raised nearly 1.3 million euros via fundraising and patients' own contributions and supported the treatments of nearly 100 Estonian cancer patients. The foundation has covered nearly a million euros' worth of medical bills alone this year.