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The Oncological Patient Support Association “Tree of Life" was founded in 2004, and is the leading non-governmental organization in Latvia that brings together oncological patients and their relatives.

Since 2005, the Society of “Tree of Life “ has been granted the status of a public benefit organization.

The aim of the association is to defend the interests of patients at national and international level, so that patients in Latvia would also have the opportunity to receive better health care.

One of the priorities of the association is the introduction and availability of psychosocial rehabilitation programs “Power Source” for oncological patients.

HISTORY

In 2004, the Latvian Oncology Center (LOC) had a Patient Information Center where people came to talk about their problems. Thus, the idea to create an organization that brings together people who are ill or have caught cancer arose. It took almost a year from idea to creation. The first great assertion that the organization will come to life, was an agreement on the title "Tree of Life”. This name symbolizes stability, longevity and faith in the future.

On December 17, 2004, The Oncological Patient Support Association “Tree of Life” was officially registered in the Company Register. At the end of 2004, the Society's website www.dzivibaskoks.lv was created.

In 2005, the Society was granted the status of a public benefit organization.

In January 2005, “Tree of Life” became a branch of the international women's breast cancer organization Europa Donna in Latvia.

In October 2005,  “Tree of Life” for the first time organized a month of breast cancer in Latvia; with focus on various activities (publications, support actions for low-income patients, street walk, public events, etc.) promoting the international symbol of breast cancer - the pink ribbon. For the public it is reminded that healthy women can avoid breast cancer and, even when ill, can fight breast cancer. In addition to the rising issue of breast cancer, members of the “Tree of Life” have paid special attention to other types of oncological diseases, such as the month of colorectal cancer and the World Cancer Day. Thanks to the extensive oncological explanation and updating activities, in October 2005, a support group for breast cancer patients was established at the Parliment of the Republic of Latvia.

In 2007, the Society receives the NGO Institute's award for Best NGO in Latvia

In 2008, the association launches a free newspaper "Patient Voice”

In 2009, "Tree of Life" became a member of the European Cancer Patient Coalition.

In 2009, the implementation of psychosocial rehabilitation programs has been developed and started.

In 2010, the association participated in the international project AURORA. Its goal is to develop applicable strategies for effective implementation of cervical cancer prevention and early diagnosis programs in every country, and in Europe.

In 2011, the Association organizes an international conference "Effective Involvement of Patient Organizations in Decision-Making Processes”

In 2011, development of mutual support groups for people affected by cancer bega

In 2012, “Tree of Life” participates in international World Anti-Cancer Day campaign

March 13, 2012, an amendment to the “Technical Aids Regulations”, which provides that in future breast prosthesis will not only be available to lower income women who have had breast mastectomy, but to every woman who has lost a breast due to cancer

On December 27, 2012, the Society is hosting the first online discussion

In 2012 in the contest of the most supportive non-governmental organization “Good Star in Riga 2012” The Oncological Patient Support Association “Tree of Life” was recognised as most supportive NGO for oncology patients and their relatives

In 2012 Jekabpils county council signed a lease agreement with the Oncological Patient Support Association “Tree of Life” for the establishment of a psychosocial rehabilitation center “Power Source” in Dignaja Manor

In 2013, the activities of the “Tree of Life” started to be organized also in regions of Latvia - Aizkraukle, Daugavpils, Liepaja.

In April 2013, the first gathering to clean the surroundings of Dignaja Manor take place .

In 2013, the Association creates a series of informative materials “Openly about Cancer

On December 8, 2014, amendments to the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance were adopted at the Minister Cabinet meeting, including a new term "psychosocial rehabilitation” in the law.

On 25 March 2014, a new board was elected - Gunita Berķe, Daina Mezīte, Ramona Kokina, Maija Karklina and Zita Daukste

In 2014, the Association organizes a cross-sectoral health conference "ONCOLOGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: LEARNING TO ENDURE"

In 2014, the Association participates in a working group set up by the international ESGO ENGAGE (European Network of Patient Organizations for Gynecological Cancer), in which the agreement "She Needs to Know" is jointly established with the goal to educate women about ovarian tumors

In 2014, the Association was nominated for significant support for patients and prevention work for which it received the Latvian Medical Society Health Award 2014,

In 2014 Association was acknowledged by the State Chancellery and Society Integration Foundation for its ability today make use of the opportunities offered by the European Social Fund

In 2015, in cooperation with Pulmonary Hypertension Society and Patient Ombudsman , the association “Tree of Life” hosted an international conference “Challenge of Chronic Diseases in 21st Century Europe. Patient Perspective and Economic Activity ”

In 2015, the Society adapts a Resolution on the Involvement of Chronic Patient Patients in the Health Care Process, Quality of Treatment and Care and Reintegration of Patients into Active Economic and Social Life. This resolution is sent to the European Commission Directorates-General and accountable Commissioners, Latvian Parliament and MEPs representing the European Parliament, EU Economic and Social Committee and other organizations

In 2015, “Tree of Life Liepaja Division receives the award “The Most Successful NGO 2015”

In 2015, the Association receives a diploma of the Latvian Medical Association Valetudo Patriae (Home Health for) for the contribution to improving the quality of life

January 2016, the Association is participating in the international campaign "SmearForSmear" to actualise the importance of cervical cancer screening

February 2016, the Association organizes open day for the first time in the World Day of Cancer.

In 2016, the Association implements an inspiring cycle of ideas "Idea. Initiative. Action. ”

In 2016, the Society receives a Certificate of Recognition from the Ministry of Health for the Associations contribution to the support of oncologic patients and their relatives

In 2016“ Tree of Life ”receives the Award for Human Growth Award in the category“ For outstanding contribution to health and well-being 

In 2017, a new board is elected - Gunita Berķe, Ramona Kokina, Maija Kārkliņa, Gunta Rožkalne and Kitija Janele.

In 2017 thanks to the success of the donation marathon “Give Five” , 21 psychosocial rehabilitation programs are implemented

In 2017 first psychosocial rehabilitation programs for couples and children ,together with parents ,who have received diagnosis cancer, are implemented

In 2017 support groups for people affected by cancer are being organized in Valka and Ventspils

December 19, 2017, implemented new changes in Minister Cabinet Regulations No.780 “Regulations on Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services for Persons with Oncological Disease and their Families members’. It is expected that from 2018 psychosocial rehabilitation for oncological patients and their relatives will be provided as a state-funded service in 2017, we received the Health Excellence Award from the Ministry of Health

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