A GTA mother of two young children is hoping to meet with Ontario Health minister Deb Mathews at Queen's Park this morning, in a desperate bid to get OHIP coverage of the drug Avastin.
41-year old Kimm Fletcher has been fighting the worst form of brain cancer for 3 years. She has Glioblastoma...stage 4. She has 2 months to live but her doctors told her that Avastin could extend her life for up to 18 months.
OHIP pays for Avastin in the treatment of some forms of cancer including colorectal, kidney and lung cancer but not for the brain cancer Glioblastoma.
Fletcher could get coverage in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan but not Ontario.
The drug company says Avastin's effectiveness in Glioblastoma "is based on tumour response." But it also says on it's website: "currently, no data have shown whether or not Avastin improves disease-related symptoms or survival in people previously treated for GBM."
So the medical evidence doesn't seem to be there which could give Health Minister Mathews some cover if she says no but this is politics folks. The optics look bad...a relatively young woman with a 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter who wants to live to see the new year...turned down. I would think the minister would say yes...but Deb Mathews never ceases to disappoint.
If you would like to help Kimm Fletcher to defray the costs of Avastin...which isn't cheap...84-hundred dollars-a-month, go to our website: newstalk1010-dot-com. Click on the story and there's a link to a crowdsourcing effort which has already raised just over 28-thousand dollars...hoping for 48 thousand.
I want to take a moment to note the generosity of former NewsTalk 1010 owner Allan Slaight and his family.
His son Gary, a long time friend of mine and a long-time boss of mne runs the family empire and over the years has put up millions of dollars for charities and especially for hospitals.
Yesterday Gary and the rest of the Slaight family decided to donate 50-million dollars to 5 Toronto hospitals: Toronto General and Western, St. Mikes, Sunnybrook, Mount Sinai and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
In making the donation Gary Slaight hopes that this will inspire other wealthy Canadians to help.
The Senate scandal, especially the one involving Mike Duffy is looking more like a political death match in Ottawa.
Duffy came out swinging last week and had Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the ropes. Harper battled back with what I consider his best performance ever during Question Period.
This week, Duffy came back with new blockbuster revelations alleging fraud from within the Prime Minister's Office. Harper was on the prowl for the Senator in the commons yesterday.
The Prime Minister also lashed out at his former chief of staff Nigel Wright for the 90-thousand dollar personal cheque he wrote to Senator Duffy so he could repay expenses deemed to be inappropriate. Harper is now bluntly accusing Wright of deception and that's why he fired him.
To wit Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says:
Now that Sears has opted to vacate the Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens and Markville Shopping Centre, that will largely be the end of the big Sears stores in the GTA.
The Eaton Centre is the prime spot and the rumours are flying around about which American retailers will set up shop at the corner of Yonge and Dundas.
It is worth noting that Cadillac Fairview is the landlord of virtually all of the Sears stores to be vacated and Cadillac has already done deals for Nordstrom to move in to Yorkdale and Sherway Gardens. It would not be a stretch to suggest Nordstrom would have first shot at the Eaton Centre. In fact, Nordstrom had previously tried but failed to negotiate a deal for the Eaton Centre but that was before Sears sold it's lease back.
This now puts Bay Stores in play downtown. HBC bought Saks and it already owns Lord and Taylor. If the Bay decides to bail out of downtown Toronto altogether that would leave the store at Yonge and Bloor, plus the one at Yonge and Queen..just across the street from the Eaton Centre. I could see a Saks Fifth Avenue competing with Nordstrom downtown and maybe a Lord and Taylor at Yonge and Bloor.
This, of course, is all about the money. The Bay and Sears are caught in the middle squeezed by Walmart and Target at the low end and Saks, Nordstrom and Lord and Taylor on the luxury side.