Our organization 'Athena. Women Against Cancer' was founded five years ago to support and uphold the rights of cancer patients and improve their access to treatments. We strive to ensure that every cancer patient has the medication and access to the medical services they require. Our organization unites about 16,000 patients from all over Ukraine, and we collaborate with medical specialists. For many years we have also been actively promoting the legalization of medical cannabis as an essential medicine for our patients.
Since the war began, cancer patients have become one of the most vulnerable groups of people, suffering from hostilities and a lack of access to treatment. Most oncological medical centers are now closed, and in several cities, they were shelled by Russian troops. The situation in besieged cities is catastrophic - people that remain in these areas cannot receive any treatment. In addition, so many people relocated to the western part of the country that it is impossible to provide everyone with medication. As a result, large batches of expensive immunosuppressive drugs get sold out just in a few days. At the same time, most people do not have the financial means to buy these drugs as they have lost their homes and jobs as financial sources. People won't survive without these vital medicines.
When the war started, members of our team and many patients were in medical treatment. Now they are forced to leave their homes, rescue their children, and flee in search of a safer place and the opportunity to continue treatment abroad. But not everyone has a chance to leave. Together with Ukraine's Ministry of Health and the State Enterprise Medical Procurement, our organization struggles to provide medicine for patients as we have done before. In addition, we have contacted many organizations and medicine manufacturers and have already started receiving humanitarian aid.
I want to thank all the people supporting the cancer patients today - this is crucial to us! We thank everyone who is providing tangible support, all the people and companies sending humanitarian aid shipments, and those sending money to foundations that help us. You are saving lives!