Rodion is a 14-year old from Odessa, Ukraine. In January 2018 he began feeling unwell – and his family was shocked when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. At first, he was treated at the local Children’s Clinical Hospital, but without success as he did not achieve complete remission. Rodion’s diagnosis was then graded as High-Risk disease. Due to poor level of oncology in Ukraine, Rodion’s family decided to continue treatment abroad in a Center for Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Immunology in Belarus and pay for it out of their own means. The treatment in the Center has lasted for 8 months (since February 21 till October 19, 2018) and finally Rodion was discharged in complete remission to continue maintenance therapy at home.
On December 19, 2018, just two months later, unfortunately the disease relapsed. Due to very early relapse Rodion has chance to survive through transplantation of donor’s bone marrow only. However, to proceed with transplantation, he had to achieve complete remission again, and the family brought Rodion back to Belarus for chemotherapy. Unfortunately, high-dose chemotherapy was not effective due to acquired resistance to treatment. In this situation, very expensive new immunotherapy drug, blinatumomab (Blincyto) was recommended as only remaining way to reach remission.
This type of immunotherapy was unavailable in Belarus. The family urgently transferred Rodion into Medipol Mega Hospital in Istambul, Turkey, as it was the nearest place where the therapy available and without entry visa requirements. The treatment cost was taken into consideration as well. The Medipol Mega Hospital billed Rodion’s family $130,000 for 2 courses of Blincito immunotherapy.
The first course of immunotherapy was already completed in February 14th – March 14th. Rodion did not tolerate it well and had many negative side effects which resulted an additional rehabilitation period in the hospital that increased treatment cost by $50,000. But more important was improvement observed after first course of immunotherapy and that filled Rodion’s family with faith and hope. Second course of immunotherapy started on March 28th. However, by then Rodion’s family already spent all their savings as well as financial support from their relatives and friends. Currently, their financial resources are completely exhausted. Rodion and his family will appreciate any help!