The Gift of Life foundation offers hope and practical help to children and young adults under the care of their sister charity in Russia, Podari Zhizn', whose families cannot afford treatment for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The cost of treating children with cancer in Russia is extremely high and not all treatments are state funded. Donations made to Gift of Life UK are used primarily to purchase vital medicine used in the treatment of leukaemia and to fund the search for potential bone marrow donors.
In Russia, up to 60 children a year need Erwinase, a drug administered to those allergic to standard cancer treatment. Erwinase is not available in Russia so must be imported and is very expensive. A child might require up to 20 packs of Erwinase during treatment, with each pack costing around £3,000: that’s as much as £60,000 per child. If treatment is not successful then the next preferred stage involves a bone marrow transplant. As Russia does not have its own Bone Marrow Donor registry, if a suitable match cannot be found among relatives, then international registries must be checked which can cost up to £30,000 per child. Put simply, Erwinase and bone marrow transplants can save lives. All funds raised from the sale of this work will go to the Gift of Life foundation, providing children in crisis with hope for the future.