(From the diary of Dasha S.
October 5, 2013)
The organization was incorporated in 2010. In fact, everything started much earlier, late in the 90-es, from a union of patients on "the 7th floor", who intermingled during treatment at the Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center and at the Herzen Moscow Oncology Research Institute in Moscow.
For most of people, it is important not to be left alone with a disease, particularly at the beginning of treatment. It is the most difficult time, both for patients and for their relatives. People withdraw into themselves, thinking that nothing good is waiting them ahead. However, when they start networking with other patients like themselves, they get an opportunity to realize that everything is not as frightening as it seems! One patient has prosthesis, and another one an endoprosthesis; one patient underwent two chemotherapy courses, and another one received twenty courses – all people are different, but they stick together, network and make friends. Our slogan is “It’s up to those who are drowning to save themselves”, and very often patients themselves act as volunteers in such a situation.
In this way, sarcoma patients (“Sarkominki”) appeared at our organization, and we even have our corporate holiday – Shared Birthday. It is the third Saturday of May annually. This holiday gets together those who still receive treatment and those who received treatment in the past, and everyone should bring their own present. Then a lottery is held with these presents; so you come with a present and you leave with a present, sometimes with the one you have brought. However, the main thing is that meeting old friends you also find some new ones, and for “newbies” a meeting with the people who have completed treatment, rehabilitation, multiple examinations and have returned to normal life provides an excellent example to follow.
The overarching objective of our Organization is to improve quality of life for cancer patients and their relatives.
The organization’s goals are to:
- represent and protect the interests of cancer patients, provide psychological and informational support to them, promote the expansion and use of benefits and advantages available to them;
- join the efforts of public authorities, non-profit and commercial organizations and individuals willing to help the Organization in its work to actively address medical, social and other challenges that cancer patients face;
The organization is a member of the Council of Public Organizations for the Protection of Patients' Rights under the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.