Can you imagine this? I wish we lived in this world! (Thank you to my friend Denise for sharing this quote with me today!)
Image souce: http://www.reddit.com/r/QuotesPorn/comments/2et9pa/
Kyle McConkey has leukemia and has been given weeks to live. There is a treatment available that can potentially save his life in the USA. It’s just not available here in Canada and it’s not “covered” under our health care system. His life is at the mercy of money. You can learn more about his story here and I encourage you to donate so his family can get him down there ASAP:
Mike was diagnosed with Systemic Scleroderma, a rare auto-immune disease that is causing his body to produce too much collagen, essentially scarring and eating away at his internal organs. Again, there is treatment available in the USA that could save Mike’s life… BUT our healthcare system declines to cover out-of-country medical expenses in almost all cases and applying for coverage could probably take longer than Mike has to live without treatment. His life was at the mercy of money. I am happy to say that Mike realized his goal through crowdfunding donations from family and friends and is now in the USA. You can learn more about his story here:
On November 4th, 2014 Brenda Peever died from complications of Hepatitis C because she could not afford a lifesaving drug that the PROVINCE does not yet cover. The newly approved drug, Sovaldi, has a 90% cure rate. Despite her family’s cry for help and petition, Brenda was not helped and she died. Her life was at the mercy of money. You can learn more about her story here:
Seeing these three stories on the news in a matter of weeks not only truly breaks my heart, it has made me have one of those, “wait a second, is this trying to tell me something” moments. You know when things happen and you think they might be happening for a reason? The fact that Kyle has leukemia, the disease that my husband Kevin is currently battling, and Mike is practically my next door neighbour, and Brenda died from Hep C, the exact disease that my father died from in 2003, MAY be a coincidence. But I have a gut feeling that it’s not. These heart wrenching stories not only got my attention, they won’t leave my mind and something is telling me I need to bring more attention to them.
It’s really amazing when people realize their goals through crowdfunding, but not everyone has that kind of time. And, but let’s be honest, it’s really heartbreaking that people need to resort to begging for financial help when our government and the media demonstrate how money is wasted on stuff that REALLY doesn’t matter every single day. We know the feeling.
I know a lot of you probably think that Canadians have it made when it comes to health care, but we don’t…. not when you are this sick and this deep. When you are this deep, you no longer are just a number, you become a dollar sign and a burden on the health care system and your life is literally at the mercy of MONEY. Not only are you at the mercy of money, your health care isn’t as continuous and personalized as it needs to be and it’s enough to drive you mentally insane. That is no exaggeration. I know we have a lot to be thankful for with respect to our health care system, but only to a certain extent. It’s like there’s a fine line and once you cross that line, you are in trouble. And if the disease doesn’t kill you while you battle certain life threatening illnesses, your financial struggle and mental health might. I am saddened to say that I feel like that is okay with our government and health care system and I feel like they actually count on that happening. Does that make sense? I know it sounds like horrorish nightmare, doesn’t it. However, it is reality for many. Many patients die simply because they can’t access treatment or certain procedures. Many patients die because of MONEY. Don’t give me the “red tape” bullshit. If a patient that is willing to take a drug or undergo a procedure that is not approved because they are going to die, they should be able to take that chance and there should be a way to make that happen without worrying about the disgusting INFLATED costs involved.
We just received news that Kevin’s potential donor is “not a suitable match”. They are still waiting for the second specimen to arrive in Ottawa and that might not happen if the donor is not willing or unable to be contacted. They are still looking into more donors, but I’m sure MONEY controls that entire situation. So like, if there are 20 potential donors, they only attempt to reach 2 at a time, instead of reaching out to all of them and finding a suitable donor ASAP. I’m sure that money has a lot to do with that process.
I got into a heated conversation with a person from the BMT centre this morning about keeping a patient in this situation informed and explained that it is essential to their mental health. I expressed my concern about the fact that Kevin called several times last week and no one even took the time to acknowledge his existence. That is when she finally revealed this information about the donor to me. Before that, she left a voicemail at 7:30AM this morning basically saying “don’t call us, we’ll call you”. Then I called her back and left her a voicemail stating that’s not good enough or acceptable, which resulted in a quick call back from her. I’m not going to get into the rest of the conversation, because my intention is not to bitch and expose people personally. It’s just to bring some much need awareness to the fact that people battling life threatening illnesses need to be helped, acknowledged, informed and treated with compassion. And maybe more money needs to be allotted for these situations that our CITIZENS are struggling with.
So then I see Kyle’s story on the news right after that conversation. Alexis was in the living room, I was in the kitchen and she said, “MOM, come watch this!” and then I realized that we might be in this position really soon. Not just begging for financial support for costs of living that are not covered, like we already are, but possibly begging for costs associated with actual treatment to keep Kevin alive if they cannot find a donor. We are still staying positive and believing that things will work out and a donor will be found before Kevin’s leukemia progresses to the Blast Phase. But I felt the compelled to bring attention and awareness to this matter that many of you have no clue about. The health of our citizens should be priority and something needs to change. No person’s LIFE who is willing to fight for it should be at the mercy of money. No one.
So now, I’m going to work on donor drives/events in Kevin’s honor and ask everyone we know to PLEASE get on that list. Not just for Kevin, but for anyone. That’s the problem… you can’t just do it for one person. And donate blood too! I have been in contact with a coordinator at Canadian Blood Services /One match today and Kevin is going to agree to be the face of this campaign, so I will have more information to share later. I know that not every person is a good candidate, but there are many we know who are. We need you and so do many others. The “Bloody Awesome Challenge” will be back on and I will have more information soon! Thanks for stopping by and sharing our story!