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LISTEN: Cancer crusader's husband urges people to keep up the conversation
Kimm Fletcher was dying of a brain tumour as she fought the Ontario government to fund a drug that would prolong the life of cancer patients
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Kimm Fletcher
Photo: CTV News

NEWSTALK 1010 has learned Kimm Fletcher, the Milton woman who fought to have cancer drug Avastin covered by the Ontario government, has passed away.

She leaves behind two children and a husband.

Fletcher battled Queen's Park to convince OHIP to pay for a drug she believes would prolong her life and the lives of other who live with aggressive forms of brain cancer.

Health Canada approved Avastin for the treatment, however, Ontario only covers the drug to treat colorectal cancer -- a funding decison made by the provincial drug evaluation committee.

Avastin is covered to treat brain cancer in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Fletcher was 41.

Her husband, Scott released the following on Monday afternoon:

As you may be aware, last night at 6:10pm, my beloved wife Kimm, mom to 8-year-old Martie and 10-year-old Keidon, passed away after a brave battle with brain cancer.

When Kimm was diagnosed, she got ready for a fight, like most young mothers would.  I was so proud of the way she stood up and asked the government to make change not only for herself, but for all the Ontarians and Canadians who expect their government to take care of them in their time of need.

And in the process, she did find help.  Help from the public.  The listeners, viewers and readers who learned about her story and donated money so that she could get access to the Avastin drug that allowed her to have more time with our children.  The drug that was covered in three other provinces, but not in Ontario.

With that extra time, we created many memories with our children.  This was a priceless gift.

And when she got to Great Wolf Lodge on March 27th to celebrate our daughter's 8th birthday, she was at peace.  She was ready to accept what was to come.

Two weeks ago, she made the decision to enter Ian Anderson House hospice, which gives great dignity to people in their final hours.  Quilts on the beds.  Home baked cookies every day.  It enveloped you in the kind of comfort you would find when visiting your grandmother's home.

Kimm touched so many people, and many of them came to visit her at the hospice.  Classmates from high school.  Colleagues from jobs she held years ago.  Family and friends.

She had planned to visit the Atlantic Ocean to dip her hands into it, but didn't have the chance.  So her friend Kimberly from Newfoundland sent her a mason jar with Atlantic Ocean water in it last weekend.  They brought the Atlantic Ocean to Kimm.  The same way Kimm brought hope and inspiration to so many others.

It's been a long journey home, but we have met so many wonderful people along the way.  Thank you to everyone who supported us with your thoughts, your prayers, your donations and your offers to help.  Thank you to the media for sharing Kimm's story.  Let's keep the conversation going.

It's time to heal and find our new normal.  We will share the details of the arrangements to come as soon as we know them.  In lieu of flowers, Kimm would ask that donations be made to the Cancer Assistance Services of Halton Hills (www.cancerassistance.org) or the Ian Anderson House (www.ianandersonhouse.com).


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32 0
Kimm Fletcher
Photo: CTV News

NEWSTALK 1010 has learned Kimm Fletcher, the Milton woman who fought to have cancer drug Avastin covered by the Ontario government, has passed away.

She leaves behind two children and a husband.

Fletcher battled Queen's Park to convince OHIP to pay for a drug she believes would prolong her life and the lives of other who live with aggressive forms of brain cancer.

Health Canada approved Avastin for the treatment, however, Ontario only covers the drug to treat colorectal cancer -- a funding decison made by the provincial drug evaluation committee.

Avastin is covered to treat brain cancer in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Fletcher was 41.

Her husband, Scott released the following on Monday afternoon:

As you may be aware, last night at 6:10pm, my beloved wife Kimm, mom to 8-year-old Martie and 10-year-old Keidon, passed away after a brave battle with brain cancer.

When Kimm was diagnosed, she got ready for a fight, like most young mothers would.  I was so proud of the way she stood up and asked the government to make change not only for herself, but for all the Ontarians and Canadians who expect their government to take care of them in their time of need.

And in the process, she did find help.  Help from the public.  The listeners, viewers and readers who learned about her story and donated money so that she could get access to the Avastin drug that allowed her to have more time with our children.  The drug that was covered in three other provinces, but not in Ontario.

With that extra time, we created many memories with our children.  This was a priceless gift.

And when she got to Great Wolf Lodge on March 27th to celebrate our daughter's 8th birthday, she was at peace.  She was ready to accept what was to come.

Two weeks ago, she made the decision to enter Ian Anderson House hospice, which gives great dignity to people in their final hours.  Quilts on the beds.  Home baked cookies every day.  It enveloped you in the kind of comfort you would find when visiting your grandmother's home.

Kimm touched so many people, and many of them came to visit her at the hospice.  Classmates from high school.  Colleagues from jobs she held years ago.  Family and friends.

She had planned to visit the Atlantic Ocean to dip her hands into it, but didn't have the chance.  So her friend Kimberly from Newfoundland sent her a mason jar with Atlantic Ocean water in it last weekend.  They brought the Atlantic Ocean to Kimm.  The same way Kimm brought hope and inspiration to so many others.

It's been a long journey home, but we have met so many wonderful people along the way.  Thank you to everyone who supported us with your thoughts, your prayers, your donations and your offers to help.  Thank you to the media for sharing Kimm's story.  Let's keep the conversation going.

It's time to heal and find our new normal.  We will share the details of the arrangements to come as soon as we know them.  In lieu of flowers, Kimm would ask that donations be made to the Cancer Assistance Services of Halton Hills (www.cancerassistance.org) or the Ian Anderson House (www.ianandersonhouse.com).


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