In January, more than 204,000 euros was donated to the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation. The foundation council approved the funding of the treatment of 22 people, ten of whom are receiving the foundation's support for the first time.
We also supported many other people whose decision to treat was made in November-December. All in all the foundation covered nearly 366,000 euros' worth of medical bills.
Support for several mothers
We continue supporting Kristi Natus, a 39-year old mother from Paide, in her fight with a brain tumour.
The treatment has been good for her – Kristi is lively and busy, bringing joy to her entire family.
The Loomisel folk dance group celebrated its fifth anniversary at the Paide Culture Centre with a charity dance show, where the audience had a chance to make a donation for Kristi, who has also danced in this ensemble. All in all a valuable 3405 euros was raised.
See Kristi's story here
Read the Järva Teataja article here
In January, we lent a helping hand to Maily Luberg, a young woman fighting acute lymphocytic leukaemia. Her four-week treatment with a medication named Blincyto costs 57,000 euros.
This is her last chance and she is the first Estonian to use that medication.
Read Maily's story here
As from November we are supporting Anu Nahkur, a pianist, experienced piano teacher, mother and grandmother, in her fight with a terrible disease. Her son writes:
"Mom is doing as well as she can considering her situation and her health is stable, but the treatment is still ongoing. We believe it's owing much to the super-expensive biological medication Keytruda doctors prescribed her in addition to chemotherapy. Our family was able to finance the first four treatments. The results of these four treatments showed that the illness had receded, which was definitely thanks to the new medication. The doctors confirmed that in order to truly stabilise the situation, treatment must continue.
This turned out to be financially difficult. At this point we were given another chance by the Gift of Life foundation. It's hard to express our gratitude for the help given using mere words.
We hope mom's health will completely stabilise and she'll be able to feel like a human being again. Our entire family has been there for mom each and every moment and it means the world to us that the Gift of Life is here with us, giving hope for what is to come.
You have our most sincere gratitude! Our New Year's wish: may the foundation have strength to give many more people longer lives."
A gift of hope, a gift of life
We also continue supporting 61-year old Jaanus' fight with pharyngeal cancer. He writes:
"In March 2014 I was diagnosed with pharyngeal cancer, which had already entered stage four. I received chemotherapy and radiation therapy in small intervals until August 2017. The side effects became too severe and a decision was made to cease treatment funded by the Health Insurance Fund.
But not all hope was lost. The Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation lent me a helping hand and started funding my Keytruda treatment. I have now completed the first course of treatment and analyses showed that the medication is working and there were practically no side effects.
Thank you, cancer treatment foundation, for finding means to fund my next treatment that is soon to come. What I also consider important is my own optimism and certainly my family's support. Many thanks to the benefactors!"
We support a 41-year old mother suffering from an extremely rare sinus cancer. She says:
"I've been through three kinds of chemotherapy and none have had the needed effect, neither have they alleviated the symptoms. The most unpleasant and inconvenient symptom is neuralgia of the right side of the face. I also have greatly swollen lymph nodes in the right side of my neck. The treating physician suggested a genetic study of tissue samples in the US to find out the best medication. The study suggested two medications that could improve and maintain my condition. One month's worth of the needed medication costs more than 3000 euros and is not covered by the Health Insurance Fund. Our family could not afford such sums. I'm really grateful to the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation for their positive answer. All the supporters have my greatest and most sincere gratitude."
We are also supporting 80-year old grandpa Arvo's fight with gastric cancer. His daughter writes:
"Dad had to undergo oesophageal surgery in July 2016 and during the surgery they found advanced cancer. Thus, they had to remove his stomach. It took him quite a while to recover from this difficult surgery. Roughly six months after the surgery you could see he had become the same person he was before surgery: level-headed but active. The treatment described by the doctor was effective – he regained his strength and will. Summer 2017 was truly positive. The analyses showed everything was going great. But it all changed in autumn. Dad complained that his stomach was aching at times, he stopped gaining weight and started losing it instead and his analysis results dropped. About a month ago his treating physician told us that they had tried all the medications supported by the Health Insurance Fund and there would be no point in continuing treatment using these. Our world fell apart ... everything had seemed to go well. So what's next? Do they just send me home to die? Dad asked. He is an active old gentleman – willing and entrepreneurial. How come there was no treatment? If you take someone's hope and tell them there's nothing left to do, then no matter how optimistic you are, your spirit will falter. The treating physician suggested a medication that was not supported by the Health Insurance fund, but may help Dad. We couldn't have afforded the medication. Thus we made an application to the Gift of Life foundation. Our two nerve-wracking weeks ended in positive news: the foundation agreed to fund Dad's medication. We are truly happy and grateful. For us it means that Dad has some extra time to recover. A chance to battle cancer and defeat it."
At the end of the year we started funding prostate cancer treatment of 67-year old Jaan. His wife says:
"Big thanks to the Gift of Life and all the donors. Jaan has been suffering from prostate cancer for ten years. He has undergone chemotherapy and radiation therapy several times. In summer he developed acute cystitis. He spent three weeks in a hospital. There he developed partial gluteal and thigh muscles paralysis as a result of which he now has to use a rollator to move around. He also has strong pain in his ilium, as metastases have spread there. New treatment supported by the cancer treatment foundation started on 18 January. It may sound unbelievable, but Jaan immediately felt better. It has been only a few days, but he can stand 10-20 seconds at a time several times a day and even take four or five steps. It's a huge improvement! He exercises every day using a resistance band, but we have also ordered a stationary bicycle. He experiences considerably less pain in his ilium. Hopefully he can soon lower the dose of his super-strong analgesics. We are all grateful and happy. Thank you so much Dr Helis Pokker and Dr Malle Paris. We have also donated to the cancer treatment foundation and will continue to do so. We wish you good luck, health and, of course, lots of money!"
100 appreciation plaques for companies
In January, we sent nearly hundred appreciation plaques to companies that supported cancer patients with at least 1000 euros in 2017. The plaque says that thanks to the donation people can spend more valuable time with their loved ones. For them, every new day is a day worth celebrating.
In January, we raised donations all over Estonia during Vanemuine Theatre's concert tour Memory 2018, basketball game in Tartu and Estonian Music Awards event at the Saku Suurhall Arena.
Help service employees of Eesti Energia energy company donated 435 euros to cancer patients.
Interviews and articles
Toivo Tänavsuu talked about the cancer treatment foundation's work on the Täna+ programme in Tallinna TV on 4 January.
Katrin Kuusemäe, the CEO of the cancer treatment foundation, gave an interview to Raadio4.
Listen to the interview here
Delfi Naistekas news portal published an article about the long-standing member of the foundation's council, Dr Kadri Putnik.
Read the interview here
90,000 euros operating grant from the state
The state gave the cancer treatment foundation 90,000 euros from the so-called political protection money. This is the first time the cancer treatment foundation has received a state budget operating grant.
Find out more here
Rain Laane, the head of the Health Insurance Fund, gave an interview to Postimees newspaper, where he also addressed the cancer treatment foundation and cancer patients.
Read the interview here
New donation possibilities
You can now visit our website www.kingitudelu.ee/annetajale 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, who made it work in cooperation with 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.
Find out more here
Want to support cancer patients with the gift of life?
You can also donate via bank transfer:
Payee: SA Hille Tänavsuu Vähiravifond Kingitud Elu
SEB Bank: EE211010220228917224
LHV Bank: EE137700771001442514
Danske Bank: EE133300332166860001
Nordea Bank: EE591700017003638161
On our website www.kingitudelu.ee/annetajale you can use bank links to become a regular benefactor within seconds.
You can sign up for our newsletter via firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you winter cheers
The CEO of the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation
The head and founder of the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation