The EBMT unrestricted grant 2018 was attributed to the Portuguese Association Against Leukemia (APCL).
The APCL is a charitable organization, funded in 2002 by patients with haematological malignancies, some of whom had a bone marrow transplant, and their treating physicians. It is a non-governamental organization and does not receive public funding.
Its main purposes are: to support the Portuguese Bone Marrow and Blood Donors Registry (CEDACE), to help haematological patients in need and their families financially, and to promote post graduate training for heath professionals involved in the treatment of haematological malignancies.
Through APCL’s financial help and active involvement, the CEDACE Portuguese Registry has known a tremendous expansion from 1,500 donors in 2002 to over 400,000 in 2019, being one one the most important European Registries, contributing to several hundred haematopoietic stem cell donations worlwide.
The APCL grants program, run in collaboration with the Gulbenkian Foundation, has allowed several Portuguese young doctors and nurses to train abroad for 6 to 12 month periods. The research grant program, in collaboration with the Portuguese Society for Hematology (SPH), selects and supports yearly research projects developed at Portuguese institutions through pharmaceutical industry spsonsoring.
Patients and families in need are regularly helped by APCL after their particular conditions are assessed by social security workers of their own hospitals. Several thousand euros are given every year for this purpose.
The APCL is now involved in a project to provide housing facilities for a limited number of patients coming from outside Lisbon and who need to stay away from their homes for a long period of time and therefore face financial difficulties. This project has already started and will hopefully be finished by next year.
In order to fulfill its objectives the APCL relies mainly on private donations and the EBMT unrestricted grant has been a great help to pursue its activities.