Over a period of several years I gained a very clear insight into certain areas of highly specialised medical care. The reason for this was my son, Tobias’, severe and unusual type of leukaemia. I often had occasion to express gratitude that my family happened to live in Sweden. However, no matter how skilful the doctors, how great the knowledge they possess and how far ahead Sweden might be in the fields of both research and medical care, doctors will still find themselves obstructed and helpless in the face of complex and unusual medical situations. When a medical condition is rare, the treatment even more unusual and the unpredictable complications unfathomable, it is no wonder that solutions are not easy to find. Relevant case studies and research papers take time to locate and to extract relevant information from. When it comes to rare conditions there might not be anything in the literature at all.
In one such life-threatening situation, when Tobias had to spend one month in intensive care, I asked if the doctors couldn’t just “send a question out into the world”. The hesitant reply came back: “That is not really how it works.” There and then my idea started taking shape.
My concept, born from the mind of a desperate parent, was that maybe at that moment, somewhere in the world, there was another patient like my son. Maybe other doctors were struggling with the same problems, questions and decisions. Maybe there was a totally fresh experience, maybe even a cure or helpful treatment, somewhere out there. The agonising and for me unacceptable fact was however, that this knowledge and the potential help wouldn’t be searchable or known to our treating doctors until a possible case study was published or, at least not, before the next international conference. This might take one, two or maybe five years. That is not how it ought to be in our highly developed and connected world.
I initially believed that my idea was so simple that it must already exist. I soon realised that this was not the case.Michael Kaufmann
I often talked to Tobias about my idea. He was very positive about it and encouraged me to try to make it a reality. During his struggle, which he lived through with admirable strength, courage and a positive spirit, he often said that if someone else could at least benefit from all he went through, then his suffering wouldn’t be totally in vain. He also gave his consent for me to name my concept Tobias Tree.
For me it is a matter of course that I will spend the rest of my life making sure Tobias Tree grows and flourishes so that it may save lives. That was the promise I made to my son.
Tobias Tree Foundation
Tobias Tree Foundation is a Swedish non-profit foundation. Its official full name is Insamlingsstiftelsen Tobias Tree Foundation. Its aim is “to collect funds to create, spread and administer an accessible, user friendly and swift platform where doctors and researchers, in difficult acute situations, can establish direct and efficient contacts with colleagues worldwide, as well as for certain related compatible activities.” The foundation is open for donations of all sizes.
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD
Tobias Tree is owned and run by Tobias Tree Foundation, and built and maintained by Chorus.