Other Misha's photo

My name is Olga Nikitina. My son Misha is 10 years old. We are residents of Tikhvin, a town in Leningrad region.
On July 24 Misha was taken to a hospital. On July 27th he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
I am a single mother. My son is a very active, happy, social and friendly kid. He is a kind of a child that a mother can dream of. He is a caring, attentive and loving son. Misha makes his own breakfast, goes for groceries, cleans our place and at nights meets me when I return home from work. He is also a good student.
We are now at R. Gorbacheva Institute of pediatric Hematology and Transplantology. For now, the treatment is free. However, sometimes we urgently need medications, and the hospital is out of them.
I am now staying with my son around the clock and I lost my job. I only get help from my parents, but their small pensions are not sufficient to cover most of our expenses.
People, I am asking, pleading you for help! Please help me save my son!
Thank you in advance for your help.

Olga Nikolaevna,
Misha's mom
Contact phone:
+7 (921) 873-61-14


Bill for the donor search in Germany
Medical report: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4


Update as of September 25, 2009. Misha is now undergoing a course of chemotherapy as an outpatient. Misha's birthday was on September 21! We wish him great health, success and happiness!

Update as of October 26, 2009. Misha is undergoing another round of chemotherapy, still as an outpatient. Misha feels relatively well.

Update as of January 24, 2010. Misha feels well. He is continuing maintenance therapy and receives Purinethol and asparaginase. He lives on a rented apartment and comes to the clinic for tests.

Update as of March 7, 2010. Misha is continuing therapy under the protocol. In addition to the other medications, he will also need to take calcium folinate.

Update as of April 30, 2010. Misha was discharged. He will undergo maintenance therapy locally.

Update as of May 24, 2010. Misha is undergoing re-induction. He feels rather well. He has been on treatment for 10 months already. Ahead of us are 14 more months of therapy. We are hoping for the best.
Misha's mom

Update as of June 15, 2010. Misha feels well, but unfortunately he does not have many protective cells. Misha started a new course of hormonal therapy. A puncture is scheduled for Wednesday. We are very grateful to AdVita fund and our supporters.
Misha's mom

Update as of August 18, 2010. Misha is feeling fine. Puncture results testified to a remission. If brain MRI results on August 23 are good too the doctors will let the boy and his mother go home where they will be controlled by local doctors, and Misha will have to come back for an examination in October.

Update as of October 6, 2010. Misha is at home, undergoing a maintenance chemotherapy, blood counts are normal.

Update as of October 8, 2010. Misha feels well. He has recently come to St. Petersburg for the next checkup. The puncture results were good. Misha is continuing maintenance therapy. At home, Misha enjoys studying and going for walks with his friends. Misha and his mom are grateful to everyone who is helping Misha get well.

Update as of October 28, 2011. Misha underwent control evaluation and it confirmed complete remission. He feels well.

Update as of November 14, 2012. Unfortunately, control examination revealed a relapse. There are 25% of blast cells in Misha's bone marrow. Misha and his family did not expect this at all, as he had been feeling great lately, and his blood test results were within the norm. He receives hormonal therapy, and it is planned to administer a cycle of antirelapse chemotherapy at R. Gorbacheva Institute of Hematology and Transplantation starting Monday. Afterwards, bone marrow transplantation from an unrelated donor is likely to be required.

Update as of February 4, 2013. The December puncture results show that Misha is in remission. Prior to the New Year Misha was allowed to go home for a few days, and once he returned, he had the third chemotherapy cycle. Afterwards, Misha's leukocyte count was suppressed for a long time, and at the end of January he developed a bad case of bronchitis, accompanied by a high fever. He receives corresponding treatment, so the fourth chemotherapy cycle was postponed. The leukocyte counts is now higher, but Misha is still very weak and gets tired easily.

Update as of February 6, 2013. It has been decided to perform bone marrow transplantation from a compatible unrelated donor once Misha completes the cycle of antirelapse chemotherapy. He is in remission at present, but it may not be sustained.
The International donor registry has already issued the bill.

Update as of February 14, 2013. Advita Fund USA transferred $2000 to S. Morsch registry as prepayment for donor search for Misha.

Update as of March 15, 2013. Thanks to our active supporters the funds for the donor search for Misha have been raised and transferred to the International Registry. But Misha and his mother still need the money for the transplant delivery as well as for the pretransplantation chemotherapy drugs.

Update as of April 30, 2013. A donor has been found for Misha, and his bone marrow transplantation is scheduled for May 18. He is scheduled to be hospitalized at Gorbacheva Institute for pre-transplantation chemotherapy on May 8-9. Misha has gone through testing already, and the control biopsy confirmed complete remission. The young boy is feeling reasonably well, with occasional weakness and nausea. Misha's mother is currently trying to raise 55,000 rubles for delivery of transplant to St. Petersburg. Please help!

Update as of May 31, 2013. Bone marrow was transplanted as scheduled on May 18th. For several days Misha had a fever, felt nauseated, had mucositis, and received artificial nutrition. At present the boy feels better, and he started to eat unassisted. In doctors' view, his fever resulted from rapid engraftment of donor's bone marrow. Misha takes anti-bacterial and anti-viral medications, as well as immunosuppressors to prevent graft-versus-host disease.

Update as of July 1, 2013. Misha is recovering from bone marrow transplantation at the hospital. Based on the first puncture, he is in remission, the donor transplant has engrafted at 95%. Misha's hemoglobin and leukocyte counts are within the norm, but his platelet counts are unstable as of now.
Misha has had strong symptoms of intestinal GVHD and was administered treatment with hormonal and immunosuppressive agents. The situation could be controlled: the doses of hormones are being reduced, but Misha still has to follow a strict diet. Recently he has developed symptoms of skin GVHD. Cystitis could be controlled with the help of antiviral and antibacterial therapy. Misha has also been prescribed Vfend to prevent fungal infections.
Misha feels well and is in good spirits. Last week his doctors allowed him to go for walks in the street.

Update as of July 23, 2013. Misha's remission continues, the donor's bone marrow engrafted and works well. It was possible to control intestinal GVHD, and Misha's condition improved. On the 10th of July he was discharged to the day patient facility. Misha has light manifestations of skin GVHD, he still receives immunosuppressive drugs and hormones, but the doses are being gradually lowered. Medication with Vfend continues, and once a week he receives immunoglobulines to improve immunity.
Misha is feeling good, he has appetite and moves more, and enjoys walks.

Update as of September 11, 2013. According to results of puncture done on 100th day after bone marrow transplantation, Misha is in remission, donor's bone marrow engrafted and functions well. The boy is monitored at day hospital, and feels well, but suffers from spinal osteoporosis, treatment of which is being discussed.
Vfend therapy was cancelled, and now Misha receives only immunosuppressive and hormone therapy to control GVHD manifestations and Valtrex for viral infection.

Update as of October 15, 2013. Misha is observed at the day hospital, where he is undergoing treatment for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. The boy has almost no GVHD symptoms; he gets hormones in minimal doses; the plan is to stop treatment with steroids completely by mid-November.
Misha feels well, even though he has a back pain and leg weakness. The boy's mood is also good and he is studying hard: teachers from Tikhvin work with him via Skype.

Update as of November 28, 2013. Misha is being monitored at The Gorbacheva Institute. He is feeling well. After two cycles of Zometa osteochondrosis stopped bothering him. Steroid medications and CellCept are not canceled yet - the boy continues to receive them in small doses.
The biopsy that was taken last week confirmed remission; the donor's marrow engrafted and is functioning well.
Misha tries to take more walks, sometimes goes to the movies, and continues his lessons with teachers over Skype.

Update as of January 13, 2014. Misha spent New Year's at home in Tikhvin with his beloved grandparents and has recently returned to St. Petersburg under medical supervision. He still has back pains, but overall, he is feeling quite well and has been in a great mood after spending time with his family.
Hormones were discontinued, but Misha cannot stop taking Prograf and CellCept so far, because dose reduction causes aggravation of intestinal GVHD. In December, his creatinine level elevated, and Misha received appropriate therapy. Now his kidneys are functioning well.

Update as of February 14, 2014. Misha has been at home since January 17th, in his home town Tikhvin.
All his blood counts are normal. Manifestations of GVHD are not present. Prograf has been cancelled, while CellCept is taken in small doses.
Misha was very happy to come back home, he feels much better, works with tutors, walks outside a lot. He no longer has backaches. Control tests in St. Petersburg are scheduled for the first half of March.

Update as of May 18, 2016. Two years ago Misha had a severe GVHD attack. In one month the boy lost a lot of weight, he could no longer walk and had to start using wheelchair. He was prescribed immunosuppressants and photopheresis which he was receiving monthly for the past two years. The treatment worked and he can now walk again.
In December 2015 he started taking Jakavi. The frequency of photopheresis was reduced to once every two months. Jakavi has led to clear improvements. Misha's skin is now softer and lighter. He is also taking an immunosuppressant drug Sirolimus.
Unfortunately he still has problems with his joints: after the long period of inactivity due to GVHD he cannot fully extend them. Misha is doing special exercises.
In April Misha was in St.-Petersburg for a check up. He is in remission and the blood counts are good. The next exam is scheduled for June.
In general his condition is steadily improving. He also does physical therapy. Misha is finishing 10th grade. He is a budding photographer and dreams of living in St.-Petersburg.

Update as of June 29, 2016. Misha continues GVHD treatment with Jakavi and Rapamune medications. Photopheresis was completed, and Misha's skin condition improved. His joints, after scleroderma, do not function properly yet, but the boy continues to work on them and walks (even runs!) everywhere unassisted.
Now Misha is at home in Tikhvin. In the middle of July he will have an appointment with a specialist of R. Gorbacheva Institute.
Yesterday Misha with his mother visited St. Petersburg. They had a boat trip along Neva River. The weather, unfortunately, was not very good, but it did not prevent Misha from having great fun during the trip.

Update as of August 4, 2016. Misha has now returned to his home in Tikhvin under the observation of local specialists and is continuing his GVHD treatment with Jakafi and Rapamune. His skin has improved - it has softened. He is due to be hospitalised for his checkup at the Gorbacheva Institute on 8 September.
Misha feels well. He is very active, and cycles and takes walks with his girlfriend daily.

Update as of September 2, 2016. Therapy with Jakavi and Rapamune produces good results; Misha's skin GVHD is much less apparent. Next week he has to go to Gorbacheva Institute for an evaluation. At present he is at home in Tikhvin. Misha feels well and is very active. He spends a lot of time outdoors and makes plans for the future. This is Mishas last year at high school, and he is planning to go to college to get a degree in programming.

Update as of September 27, 2016. Misha was evaluated in St. Petersburg. His blood counts are normal, and skin GVHD is moderate. Misha was recommended to continue the same medications (Jakavi and Rapamune). The next evaluation is scheduled for November - Misha is planned to have a control biopsy.
Misha turned 18 on September 21, and he will transfer to Adult unit at the hospital.
Misha celebrated his birthday with his family and later went out with his friends. He was unhappy that could not try wine on his birthday, as he had to go for a blood test the day after.

Update as of October 26, 2016. Misha continues to study. He feels well. We plan to come for an examination on November 15. A puncture needs to be done. We do not know what happens next, because we havent met a new doctor yet. I think that Misha will continue to take Rapamune and Jakavi.
Olga, Misha's mother

Update as of November 29, 2016. In November Misha came to St.-Petersburg for another check-up: he had a puncture and pulmonary function tests. The results were good: he is still in remission and his lungs are functioning well.
Since he still shows signs of skin GVHD, the doctors kept him on Jakavi and Rapamune. He also continues taking Sprycel. Misha is already back home. He is feeling well. He stays active and his joint problems are long gone. In 2017 Misha will be graduating from high school. He is planning to apply to college to study software engineering.

Update as of December 27, 2016. Misha is at home in Tikhvin. He is monitored by the doctors from the local hospital. His blood counts are within normal limits. Skin GVHD persists. Misha continues taking Sprycel as well as immunosuppresive medications - Jakavi and Rapamune. Misha will celebrate the New Year with his family - his mother, grandmother, grandfather, uncle and aunt.

Update as of January 30, 2017. Misha is still at home in Tikhvin. He studies and feels well. Lately he became interested in photography: he takes nature pictures mostly.
Misha continues having skin GVHD symptoms and stays on Rapamune and Jakavi therapy.
He will need to travel to St. Petersburg for an evaluation in February.

Update as of February 27, 2017. Misha came to St. Petersburg for planned evaluation. His blood counts are stable and breathing tests showed significant improvement with pulmonary function.
It was decided to increase Jakavi dose to increase effect of the medicine. Misha also continues taking Rapamune and Sprycel. The next evaluation is scheduled for May; in particular, CT scan and control biopsy are planned.
Misha feels very well and he is very active physically. Once he graduates from high school next summer, he plans to move to St. Petersburg with his mom.

Update as of March 27, 2017. Misha is currently at home in Tikhvin.
He feels well and has no GVHD symptoms. He continues therapy with Jakavi, Rapamune and Sprycel.
Misha will be graduating from high school this year and he is studying for the exams. In summer he plans to apply for college in St. Petersburg. He is not yet sure about his specialty, but it will likely be something in science: he is mostly interested in math, physics and IT.

Update as of May 23, 2017. In mid-May Misha came to St. Petersburg for an examination that confirmed remission from leukemia. The next puncture is planned in 6 months' time. Misha should continue taking Sprycel until then.
Misha still has moderate symptoms of chronic skin GVHD, so the therapy with Jakavi and Rapamune goes on.
Misha has returned home to Tikhvin. He is finishing school and is currently undergoing a medical examination to enroll into university. His test results are good, so his doctors have allowed him to have vaccinations and attend classes with other students.

Update as of June 23, 2017. Misha is now in Tikhvin. He feels well and awaits the results of Russian language exams (he already got his math results - he got a "B"). Next week he plans to come to St. Petersburg and apply for university.
Misha continues taking all prescribed medications - Sprycel, Jakavi and Rapamune. His skin GVHD is very mild at this time.

Update as of July 28, 2017. Misha is now at home in Tikhvin and he feels rather well. His skin's condition is stable and he continues taking Jakavi and Rapamune.
However, recent tests showed increased sugar in his blood, and Misha was diagnosed with type II diabetes. For now the doctors hope to keep him off insulin, and he was prescribed medications for support of pancreatic function.
Misha will soon travel to St. Petersburg: on August 13th the results of entrance exams will be posted.

Update as of August 23, 2017. Since mid-August, Misha has been in St.Petersburg. Recently, he underwent evaluation at Gorbacheva Institute, based on results of which his therapy with Jakavi and Rapamune was extended. He also continues receiving Sprycel and other medications that help to improve pancreatic function.
Misha enrolled into St. Petersburgs College of Information Technology at Computer systems programming specialty. Classes will start on September 1st. Currently, Misha is settling in St.Petersburg and feels well.

Update as of December 7, 2017. Misha is at home in St. Petersburg. Based on the latest evaluation, he is doing well. His blood counts are normal.
Sprycel was canceled, but he needs to continue taking Jakavi and Rapamune. Misha is trying to obtain them from the government health agency.
Misha feels rather well and continues studying in college. He enjoys his classes. He goes to college for six days a week, but he will get to skip winter exams.

Update as of January 17, 2018. Misha is at home. He feels well and continues his studies. Misha takes Jakavi and Rapamune as usual. He receives medications from Grant Life charity. The next evaluation is scheduled for February.

Update as of February 20, 2018. Mikhail is a bit unwell and has a runny nose and cough. Other than that he feels well and enjoys his studies. He continues therapy with Jakavi and Rapamune. He is scheduled for an evaluation at Gorbacheva Institute in March.

Update as of March 7, 2018. Mikhail continues taking Rapamune and Jakafi. An evaluation is scheduled for late March. Misha is planning to participate in programming team Olympics.

Update as of April 13, 2018. Based on blood test results, Misha is doing well in regards to his primary diagnosis. In three months he will have a control evaluation with a biopsy. Recently he caught a cold and now has a cough. He is continuing therapy with Jakafi and Rapamune.
Overall, Misha feels well. He is studying and getting ready for Programming Olympiad, which will take place in two months.

Update as of May 8, 2018. Mikhail feels well and continues therapy with Rapamune and Jakafi. He no longer has cough. Programming Olympiad was moved to April 23rd. Misha's team took 1st place!

Update as of June 1, 2018. Misha is feeling well, he continues with the same treatment. It's time for the end-of-year exams. So far, he only had pass/fail tests.
Later this month he will have two graded exams: the first one is on June 21. It's the hardest one: computer science.

Update as of July 3, 2018. Mikhail is taking Rapamune and Jakafi in the same doses. Yesterday he had a biopsy, the results of which are pending. Mikhail completed all the year-end tests, including programming (with a B), and successfully finished the first year of college.

Update as of September 14, 2018. Misha continues receiving the same medications as before. Recently he obtained a legal disability status of second degree. He is feeling well, is currently a junior in college, and a month ago he has started working out in the evenings.

Update as of October 22, 2018. Misha is feeling well, he continues with the same treatment. He works out regularly and can already see the results. In November Misha is planning to participate in the Russian Programming Olympiad.

Update as of November 30, 2018. Mikhail went to Moscow for an Olympiad. Although he did not get a prize, he did very well. He goes to a gym three times a week, and continues the same treatment. In December he is scheduled to travel to St. Petersburg for a control evaluation.

Update as of December 24, 2018. Misha feels well. He has already passed two exams, and on December 26th he will have a third test. Misha is studying in the second year of college at the level of the third-year program; in total this program lasts 2 years and 10 months. Misha continues to visit the gym, however, recently he had to take a pause for a couple of weeks due to cough.
His control evaluation has been postponed to January.

Update as of January 21, 2019. Mikhail had a biopsy and a blood test today. He is feeling well aside from some cough. He has not been able to work out because of feeling sick for the last month. His break is now over and he needs to study every day.
Misha's grandmother was hospitalized at the end of December, and Misha spent time with her during the holidays. To Misha's joy, she has been recently discharged with improvement.

Update as of February 18, 2019. Mikhail feels well. His blood counts are normal. According to the results of biopsy, remission and engraftment of donor's bone marrow are sustained.
His cough is gone, but Mikhail is planning to return to the gym in spring, when the risk of catching a virus is lower. He continues to take Jakavi and Sirolimus.
Mikhail attends college daily, and often goes for a walk.


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design and styling - A.Ryahovsky | make-up and programming - E.Sourmava | finansial support - Yu.Klimova | translation - M.Fedotova, K.Filatova, Elena Alexandrova | copyright and administration - P.Greenberg