Earlier this month, The Max Foundation celebrated the delivery of 110 BCR-ABL molecular tests to Mercy Medical Center Cambodia. The delivery was the first of its kind for Max, made possible through our 2018 Diagnostics Solidarity Fund. Two more deliveries – one to Kyrgyzstan and one to Bolivia – are in process now, and we’re hopeful there will be many more to come.
Why are BCR-ABL molecular tests important?
Before a patient can be treated, he or she must first be diagnosed. A simple concept to be sure, but with a disease like chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), diagnosis isn’t that simple.
In order to accurately diagnose CML and monitor a patient’s ongoing treatment, molecular testing is required to determine the presence and prevalence of the mutated BCR-ABL protein. However, in the low- and middle-income countries where we work, molecular testing is often unavailable or prohibitively expensive.
Bridging Gaps in Access
To help bridge that gap for patients, we established the 2018 Diagnostics Solidarity Fund – a donation program dedicated to increasing access to molecular testing in 22 resource-challenged countries. Specifically, the fund enables The Max Foundation to donate up to 3,600 BCR-ABL molecular tests to qualifying institutions.
Each one of the 110 tests delivered to Mercy Medical Center Cambodia represents an opportunity – either for a new patient to gain access to life-saving treatment, or, for an existing patient to improve his or her disease outcome. Those are opportunities worth celebrating.
We offer our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the CML/GIST team at Mercy Medical Cambodia: Drs. Tim Benadum, Mary Kluck, Inge Mathes, and Alan Norman, as well as head administrator Sovatdy Sanh, and laboratory technicians Kanhara Im and Saora Toeur (pictured). They go above and beyond for their patients each and every day and it’s an honor to support their efforts.