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maria pogorelova
01 MARCH 2017

Help Masha to beat leukaemia today

Mariya Pogorelova

Diagnosis: acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

To help Mariya: donate now at JustGiving.com

Date of birth: 4th of February 1993

Place of residence: Bryansk

In 2015, Mariya graduated from Bryansk Polytechnic University with a first-class degree. All doors were open to her, but she didn’t even have time to find a job. A sharp decline in her health—and before she knew it, Masha was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and hospitalised at the Research Centre for Haematology in Moscow.

Treating young patients with this diagnosis is usually straightforward. But Masha’s case turned out to be exceptionally challenging. Firstly, she was discovered to have a somewhat rare genetic “malfunction” in her leukaemic cells, the so-called Philadelphia chromosome. Secondly, she had great difficulties with her chemotherapy, and suffered from serious complications. And worst of all, a few months after an initial success, when it seemed like all the symptoms of her illness had gone away, her tests started coming back worse and worse—she had undergone an early relapse.

Masha needed a change of treatment strategy and medicines on the fly. Doctors chose the cutting-edge medicine Iclusig (ponatinib), which allowed Masha to once again go into remission. In July 2016, Masha received a bone marrow transplant to cement the treatment’s success after a genetically compatible unrelated donor was found in Spain. A month later, she was already feeling so well that her doctors decided to release her for outpatient treatment. Of course, Masha continues to visit the hospital for tests and maintenance therapy.

Because Masha is still in danger of infectious and immune system complications, she needs to keep taking Iclusig. But the medicine is very expensive, and her parents can’t afford to buy it themselves. Right now, another pack of Iclusig will cost £6000. We’re asking for your help to support Masha in the final stage of her struggle. To donate go to Masha’s appeal at JustGiving.com.