An uninsured mother desperate for help to pay for her son’s cancer drugs is breathing easier after hearing a provincial program might be available for her family.
Denise Hill’s son Leeland was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour on March 26. Follow up surgery has left the three-year-old paralyzed on one side.
Leeland began his radiation and chemotherapy treatments Monday. His mother wants to care for him at home, but she was shocked to learn the cost of anti-nausea drugs he would need.
"His medication to keep him from throwing up with radiation and chemo is $372 every two weeks," said Hill.
After a public plea for help, Hill received enough donations to cover Leeland’s medication for the next few weeks, and allow him to stay home with his family.
Hill does have the option of leaving her son in the hospital. There, his drugs and wheelchair would be covered. But Hill is grateful she can keep Leeland at home for now, where her parents can help.
Cancer patients program
Hill has also been informed of the province’s Pharmacare for Cancer Patients program.
Health Minister Dave Wilson said the drug is covered under the program, but he couldn’t specifically comment on the Hill’s case.
"It requires some paperwork from a family doctor," he said of the medication.
Hill also reached out to the Canadian Cancer Society and the Brain Tumour Foundation, but those groups do not provide financial support to individuals. Instead, they fundraise for research, and provide information and emotional support for families.