A Langley family is frustrated that the B.C. provincial government won't pay for a much-needed insulin pump and have now turned to crowdfunding to raise money for it.
Tricia Churko's uncle, Ken, has Type 1 diabetes. A month ago, his kidneys failed and his wife gave him hers, but even though the transplant was a success, the effects of the diabetes will continue to ravage his body.
"Ken is desperately in need of an insulin pump and it's not covered under medical," Churko said.
Insulin pumps cost more than $7,000 and Ken does not have the money. The Ontario government covers insulin pumps for all ages as does Alberta, but B.C. only pays for an insulin pump for those 25 and under.
Canadian Diabetes Association lobbying for change
The Canadian Diabetes Association is lobbying to change that, but until that happens, more than 13,000 people over 25 who suffer from Type 1 diabetes will have to pay for it themselves.
"Studies clearly show that when using the insulin pump the health outcome is much more positive than a pen," said Serge Corbeil of the Canadian Diabetes Association.
"Even though at the start of it, there are increased costs for the government, the long-term benefits for the government in terms of people not having to use the medical system as much, there would be a clear net benefit."
So far, the crowdfunding campaign for Ken has raised just over $3,500 dollars, but they hope to raise $15,000 in total to cover the cost of the pump and regular checkups.
"The hope is if he gets a pump and ... really hoping he gets a new start ... and get back to what he enjoys doing," said his daughter, Kristina Najman.