Africa & Middle East

The Max Symposium, 2018

When we know what we’re treating, we can proactively channel medicine and strengthen local health care systems. Our efforts include:

  • Adding new countries to our Solidarity Fund, a restricted fund for under-resourced settings without access to molecular diagnostic systems and test kits.
  • Partnering with patient associations to identify diagnostic needs for patients across Africa.
Dr. Silva of Maputo Hospital, Mozambique

In 2019, we delivered the first shipment of lifesaving medicine to CML patients in Mozambique. Today, we know of specific patients who are in critical need of a basic diagnostic test—without it, they cannot begin lifesaving treatment.

“Seeing the patients getting better keeps us going. In the beginning, the life expectancy [of patients] was very low and we lost a lot of patients. Now with all of the treatments and monitoring in place we are talking about treatment-free remission [for certain patients with chronic myeloid leukemia], which is a major milestone.”
— Dr. Fatma Dieng Bousso, Senegal

Asia Pacific

We successfully import cancer treatments into Asia Pacific by partnering with governments, health care practitioners, and patient associations. Our efforts include:

  • Aiding individual patients and their families to overcome last mile logistics.
  • Hosting regular workshops and support group meetings for patients in Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

The Max Schooling Project (Projek Sambung Sekolah), based in Malaysia, offers financial assistance to cancer patients’ children so they can continue their schooling and education. Through this project, we help patients stay on track with their treatment plan while their children have increased access to education. Currently, we have supported more than 100 children in Max Schooling, and the program continues to expand.

“We have to realize that healthcare delivery is extremely complicated and intertwined with every aspect – politics and policy, economy, societal values and beliefs, just to name a few. I enjoyed working with The Max Foundation, who is putting patient at the center of their mission model.” ​
— Dr Tee Chuan Ong, Malaysia

Eastern Europe & Central Asia

Since we first opened access to treatment in Eastern Europe & Central Asia, hundreds of CML patients are now living beyond their initial diagnosis. Our efforts include:

  • Bridging critical access to diagnostic systems and test kits to our partner institutions whose patients cannot afford to travel out of the country for a blood test.
  • Supporting partnering physicians by connecting them with disease experts who can virtually advise on cases, which translates into better patient care.

In 2019, we donated a PCR diagnostic machine to Armenia. Our partner physician, Dr. Karen Meliksetyan has since been able to monitor more than 300 CML patients and prescribe additional lines of treatment. “In some patients, we discovered the treatment failed, or confirmed deep molecular remission and continued the same treatment. It’s very hard for CML patients.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the world, including healthcare system especially in resources limited setting. However, this pandemic also has brought people [you and I] together, making us realize that nothing is impossible when we are having each other.”
— Mariam Izoria, (second from right) Program Coordinator, with the Armenian medical team

Latin America

Outside of accessing treatment, the largest barrier patients face in their journey with cancer is understanding their disease and gaining emotional support. Our efforts include:

  • Guiding patients and their families throughout their treatment life cycle through disease education and support.
  • Empowering patients by partnering with local patient associations, cancer advocates, and health care professionals.

In September 2019, 11 patients in Guatemala gained access to hope when a second-line treatment for CML was approved for importation by the country’s Ministry of Health. This achievement was made possible through our team and partner physicians’ relentless efforts and commitment to patients.

“I started treatment when I was 18. Thanks to the treatment, I have a better quality of life. Being a mother is the best thing that could happen to me – I dedicate myself with a lot of love to my son.”
— Fiorella, mother and cancer patient from Perú, on treatment since 2014

South Asia

Our team in South Asia organizes critical patient support group meetings for thousands of patients each year. Our efforts include:

  • Providing pathways for emotional and community support for patients facing cultural stigmatization.
  • Hosting fundraisers and awareness campaigns through our Chai for Cancer.

We partner with Friends of Max, one of the largest patient associations in the world supporting CML and GIST patients in India to connect with thousands of patients yearly. We provide a safe space for patients and their care givers to connect with patients and physicians and help overcome cancer stigma.

“In countries like ours, the main challenge lies in access to affordable, appropriate, and timely diagnosis and treatment. We become like one big family and share patients’ milestones —completing college, new job, marriage, kids, and grandkids.”
— Dr. Manju Sengar, Professor at Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai


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