Children, Real Life Stories


Lidia Aloyan, Tbilisi

Diagnosis – Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

In 2013, at the age of 14 Lidia fell ill with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Unfortunately, her case was too complicated, and there wasn’t sufficient treatment available in the Tbilisi and then Vladikavkaz clinics where Lidia was initially admitted. Lidia’s condition deteriorated quickly, and she was finally admitted to the intensive care unit at the Dmitry Rogachev Centre, the leading paediatric oncology and haematology clinic in Moscow, supported by Gift of Life. She had to stay in artificial coma for 15 days so the doctors could stabilise her.

Lidia recalls that six months in the hospital passed quickly. She and other young patients were taken good care of. They had access to educational programmes provided by a hospital school. Their free time was filled with activities and creative workshops with volunteers, performances arranged by volunteer clowns, famous actors and pop stars who came to support patients and give them a chance to forget about medical procedures for a day. It was a great support and unforgettable moments for children and their parents.

A month after chemotherapy, Lidia was in remission. Her treatment was over, and she could return home to her family. It was summer 2014. Now Lidia lives in Bordeaux, France. She devotes her time to a good cause working as an animator with seriously ill children.

I still undergo full diagnostics every five years in the local hospital. French doctors are exceedingly impressed by my recovery story and the achievements of Russian medicine in the treatment of childhood leukaemia.

Lidia survived cancer thanks to our donors who helped to raise £57,600 to pay for her treatment. It was a 100-vials course of Erwinase, a rare and expensive chemotherapy drug unavailable in Russia. That treatment was the only chance for Lidia to stay alive and we cannot thank enough the Gift of Life donors for their generosity and support!

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