Gift of Life

HQ Location: 
London

Location of benefit: 
Europe

In Europe and the United States 90% of children diagnosed with cancer survive. In Russia fewer than 70% do. Because the only difference is money, you can give life now. Gift of Life supports the international programmes of Podari Zhizn.

Gift of Life offers hope and practical care to children and young adults whose families cannot afford treatment for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses under care of the Podari Zhizn in Russia. The cost of treating children with cancer in Russia is extremely high and not all treatments are funded by the state. Donations are used primarily to purchase vital medicine used in the treatment of leukaemia and to fund searches for potential bone marrow donors.

In Russia, up to 60 children per year need Erwinase, a drug administered when they are allergic to standard cancer treatment. Erwinase is not available in Russia so must be brought in from abroad. A single pack of Erwinase costs around £3000 and a child might require up to 20 packs during their treatment. That’s as much as £60,000 per child. If this treatment is not successful then the preferred next stage involves a bone marrow transplant. If no relatives have a suitable match, then the international registries must be searched as Russia does not have its own Bone Marrow Donor registry. Up to 40 children a year need to search the international registry and this can cost up to £30,000 per child.