Podari.Life is proud to be the sister charity to the Russia-based "Podari Zhizn" and UK-based "Gift of Life". We share one mission and one goal: a child's life should not hang on money.
Our first sister charity – Russia-based "Podari Zhizn" ("Gift of Life" in Russian) – was founded in 2006 and, like all big sisters, blazed a trail for us younger ones to follow. We passionately support the "Podari Zhizn" vision: the child's life should not hang on money. Ten years ago, two famous Russian actresses, Chulpan Khamatova and Dina Korzun, joined forces with a team of volunteers to help more that 30 000 children and their families get treatement, support and rehabilitation. This public charity based in Russia's capital city of Moscow, provides medications and mediacal equipement to many hospitals in Russia, promotes and organizes blood drives and develops volunteer networks countrywide. In 2011, Federal Center for Pediatric Onco-Hematology came into being; its state-of-the-art medical equipment was bought through generous donations by Podari Zhizn benefactors. The Center delivers treatment and care to more than 1 000 patients annuallly. "Podari Zhizn" is also concerned with ensuring that the appropriate aftercare is given to those who survived their illness. Each year in June, "Podari Zhizn" organizes its cameo event - "Winners Games", in which the brave children who beat their disease can compete as champions.
Our middle sister is the UK-based charity "Gift of Life", founded in 2011. UK-based "Gift of Life" fundraises for programs, which make possible purchasing expensive and not easily accessible drugs, such as Erwinase, which provides crucial treatment in some cases of leukemia, and is not available in Russia. "Gift of Life" also organizes visits of foreign specialists who perform surgeries at the The Federal Center for Pediatric Onco-Hematology. "Gift of Life" takes an active part in seeking suitable bone marrow transplants when a donor cannot be found among the patient’s relatives. They do this by searching donor registers for a bone marrow match. Russia has no such register. "Gift of Life" is planning to sponsor several rehabilitation projects designed to help cancer patients in recovery. In 2014, "Gift of Life" raised around one million USD (approximately 700 000 GBP).
As a group of enthusiasts with previous involvement in "Podari Zhizn" activities, all born in Russia but now living in the US we couldn't stop thinking about what we could do to close the gap between quality of health care, treatment and rehabilitation in the USA and Russia. The Russian economy is now struggling and the Government funding of the healthcare system has taken a hit. The US and Russia’s governments may be having a standoff, but the people of these two great countries are not. Openness, generosity, mutual support and friendship are a part of the cure for a disease that knows no borders – cancer. We are convinced that sharing American experience in containment and fighting childhood cancer can be an important step towards increasing the survival rates for childhood in Russia. That is why on June 1st 2015, we founded Podari.Life Inc, an US-based public charity with a mission to advance public education about childhood cancer and to increase awareness among medical professionals in Russia. We are just born, but we have our big sisters to help us with their expertise and to inspire us with their vision and beliefs. We share a common goal with our sister charities: a child’s life should not hang on money.
Lelia B. Shergova is the co-founder of Podari.Life Inc. She was a long-time volunteer of Podari Zhizn in Moscow before moving to Boston, MA. Lelia is the Program administrator and primary contact person in our charity.