Michael Yurieff, and the Russian American Children’s Foundation (RACF) have spent the last five years assisting seriously ill children from Russia access medical care in the US; medical care that’s saved their lives. RACF assists children whom the Russian healthcare system is incapable of helping and whose parents do not have the means to pay for medical treatment in American hospitals themselves.
The treatment and possible cure of rare diseases is very expensive due to their extremely infrequent occurrence (1 case per 10,000 thousand people both in the US and Russia). As a result, the supply of medicines and technologies to treat these rare diseases is limited, making them high-cost.
In 2012, the Russian Government officially adopted the term “orphan” or “rare” diseases for the first time. Starting in 2013, the government intends to provide funding for the treatment of 24 diagnoses. However, worldwide there are over 3,500 known rare diseases. American doctors have technologies that may save patients suffering from these diseases. The only challenge is in paying for the medical treatment.
The Russian Aid Foundation in Moscow, established by the Kommersant newspaper in 1996, refers children to RACF for medical treatment in America. The Russian Aid Foundation is a leading children’s charity in Russia. Functioning much like the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, the Russian Aid Foundation publishes stories of desperate parents, and encourages readers to donate money so that sick children can receive medical care. The appeals for help that the Russian Aid Foundation brings to light are re-published in print and electronic mass media in dozens of Russian regions as well as abroad – including in the US. The Russian Aid Foundation stories are popular on Russian television and the renown and trustworthiness of this charity has led hundreds of Russians living in America to make donations. That is how RACF came to life.
We hope that with your assistance RACF will be able to make a change for the better.
We hope you’ll understand it’s not true that kindness will save the world. Saving the world is not the province of us mere mortals. Yet if your act of kindness helps save a life, you may feel the spark of God within your soul.
Michael Yurieff is also a proud member of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives and shares the values of his fellow NANOE members.