Children, Real Life Stories

May every child become healthy again

Olga Levi, Krasnodar

Diagnosis – Ewing’s sarcoma

In March 2019, Olga went to see a doctor with an unbearable pain in her leg. Tests showed a malignancy on the pelvic bones, and Olga was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma localised in her iliac bone.

Olga was just 15 years old at that time. Such a wonderful age to dream about the future, prepare yourself for students’ life, find new friends, and fall in love. But the disease cancelled all plans and forced Olga and her mum Marina to leave their hometown in the south of Russia for the life-saving treatment at the Dmitry Rogachev Centre in Moscow.

In March 2020, Olga underwent an operation for the tumour to be surgically removed and the bone reconstructed. Professor Ingo Melcher was invited from Germany to do this challenging task. He has performed many successful surgeries on Gift of Life patients before and no one could do it better for Olga. The operation was a success. Olga recovered quickly and was fit enough to start walking in ten days after surgery.

The cost of the operation (the specialist fees and travel costs) was £5,333. It’s considerably less than the cost of a similar operation done in a clinic in Germany. But it is still unaffordable for an ordinary family from Krasnodar, where the average salary is about £3,500 a year. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Gift of Life was able to support Olga’s treatment and to pay for the surgery.

Olga spent a year in therapy in the Moscow clinic. The surgery was followed by bone marrow transplantation, radiation therapy and compulsory treatment with anti-tumour medications. Olga went into remission and was discharged from the hospital in October 2020. She continues to take antiviral and antibacterial medications as a part of her post-transplant therapy, as well as undergo control examinations every three months.

Olga is now 17 years old. She’s finishing school next year. Having gone through such a traumatic experience herself, Olga wants to return to the centre where she was treated – but as a doctor, not as a patient. Olga is dedicated to fulfilling her dream of becoming a doctor, working hard on medical school exams, and taking classes in chemistry several times a week. In her spare time Olga likes swimming, reading, singing, and drawing. She also enjoys practicing her skills in creative makeup.

At the hospital, Olga realised that she’s not alone and thousands of children face the challenging fight against cancer. They cannot beat the disease without the support of donors and charities. Gift of Life and Podari Zhizn were very supportive of Olga at all stages of her treatment. And Olga and her mum are endlessly grateful to everyone who helped save Olga’s life, and asked us to share their message of support with other patients of the charity:

“We want to ask all children who are now being treated not to give up. After all, fate would not give them challenges which they could not overcome. May every child on Earth become healthy again!”

To help children like Olga beat cancer and other serious illnesses, donate now.