Through the progress made over the last three years in collaboration with our Grant Recipients, BLFA can say that we are honored to be working with teams of dedicated, passionate and caring individuals who all share the BLFA mission.
Based in Kisumu, Kenya the OGRA Foundation was BLFA's initial grant recipient for program activities in Kenya. With a vision of being a “leading health and emergency response provider,” OGRA Foundation shares many of the values of BLFA. A long-established and highly regarded health nonprofit in western Kenya, OGRA Foundation possesses the personnel, the expertise, the local knowledge, the access to local resources, and the "boots on the ground" that has helped BLFA make immediate strides in treating victims of Burkitt's lymphoma in Kenya.
Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute– Uganda
Through a collaboration of the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) based in Kampala, Uganda and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), based in Seattle, a project was developed to help cure children with Burkitt lymphoma. As this is the primary pediatric cancer in Uganda, BLFA is providing funds to treat children that come to the HCRI-UC for care. UCI, a center dedicated to multiple forms of cancer, started in part by the discoveries of Burkitt lymphoma by Denis Burkitt. What is now UCI was started as the Lymphoma Treatment Center (LTC) and was dedicated to Denis Burkitt. Based in Seattle, FHCRC (or "the Hutch") is a world-renowned center of excellence in the fields of cancer research and treatment, infectious diseases, and strategies to combat cancer in all its forms, worldwide.
BLFA's Tanzanian partner is the Shirati Health, Education and Development Foundation (SHED Foundation), serving many communities near Lake Victoria in northwest Tanzania. SHED Foundation's medical director, Dr. Esther Kawira, is a key researcher in the internationally-funded EMBLEM study of Burkitt lymphoma, and regularly sees BL patients in the course of her clinical work. Our efforts with SHED Foundation focused on building a new clinic for Burkitt lymphoma patients in Soto where their current clinic had to be torn down due to road construction. The clinic is named Derek’s House after the grandson of BLFA Founder Miriam Sevy.
The BLFA works with organizations whose services and products will facilitate improving diagnosis and treatment for the east African children who have contracted Burkitt lymphoma.
Direct Relief International
BLFA and Direct Relief work together to improve access to treatment for children with Burkitt’s lymphoma. Direct Relief obtains the chemotherapy and other necessary medicines as well as supplies from its healthcare company partners to support treatment programs. The value of Direct Relief's experience and access to medications and medical supplies, together with the agency's well-established logistical expertise and presence in Africa, cannot be overstated. By providing these critical supplies and drugs, Direct Relief allows tremendous "leverage" of BLFA grant funding to African participants, thus saving more lives. Review this story about our collaboration
Beckman Coulter Foundation
The Beckman Coulter Foundation is a separate, private foundation established in 2007 as part of Beckman Coulter's charitable giving efforts. Through an association with Steve Kussick, BLFA Board President and Associate Medical Director at PhenoPath, the Beckman Coulter Foundation has donated two flow cytometers, state-of-art pathology equipment that will improve both the speed and accuracy of diagnosis. This equipment will help cut the time to full diagnosis from days to minutes.
Based in Seattle, WA, PhenoPath is a physician-owned specialty pathology practice providing diagnostic and contract research services to pathology and oncology physicians, and to pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations, around the world. PhenoPath pathologists are nationally and internationally recognized thought leaders in many areas of pathology. In collaboration with the Beckman Coulter Foundation, PhenoPath professional and technical flow cytometry staff are donating their time to develop and validate testing methods that will greatly assist in the diagnosis of leukemia and lymphoma, including Burkitt’s lymphoma, in resource challenged regions.
It was a 2009 PATH Journeys trip to Kenya that inspired Miriam Sevy to found BLFA. After directly seeing the novel work being done by PATH and some of the unmet needs of children with Burkitt lymphoma, Miriam knew she had to take action. PATH’s mentorship has been pivotal in helping BLFA implement its program quickly and effectively. Ayo Ayaji, who at the time was the Vice President of Global Development at PATH, joined the Board as a founding member. He was instrumental in combining his rich experience in Africa with his medical expertise and contacts to help BLFA launch. PATH’s reputation as a global health organization is unparalleled and the benefits of their on-the-ground expertise cannot be overstated.
Seattle International Foundation
The Seattle International Foundation (SIF) supports poverty alleviation efforts through grant-making and other activities. SIF was founded in 2008 as a supporting organization to the Seattle Foundation for the purpose of increasing and enhancing international philanthropy from the Pacific Northwest. BLFA was honored to be a grant recipient from SIF for 5 consecutive years (2011-2015). Their support has made an impact on the care for over 100 children in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.