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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

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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  1. Stacey posted on 04/28/2014 10:02 AM
    What a bunch of caring, wonderful people we have in government. Oh, but we live in Ontario, so please disregard that opening statement! People should be outraged by this story! I am so very sad for Kimm Fletcher's family. Things could have been different, and don't let the talking heads tell you different. I am so disgusted by our Health Minister Deb Matthews. "She clung to her belief that politics shouldn’t come into these decisions. They should be made by experts." What a load of crap. Step up and made a difference or leave your post. This is the same minister who passes the buck with Alzheimer patients getting life threatening anti-psychotic drugs -“Let’s remember, it’s doctors who prescribe these drugs, not the government,” Matthews told reporters in a heated scrum at Queen’s Park. (April 14th Toronto Star artice) Pass the buck once again Ms. Mathews, pass the buck! Hmmm, question for you Deb. I am left wondering if Kim Fletcher had been a family member of yours, would you then have been able to get the necessary drugs? You are a sad, sad, sad excuse for a Health Minister. Since you are in the government already, the best I can hope is that you will be moved to a post with less life and death consequences !!!
    1. Jim posted on 04/28/2014 10:14 AM
      @Stacey Cry me a river. Rules are rules. They are there to prevent abuse and maintain some form of fiscal responsibility. It isn't perfect, but it is necessary.
    2. john posted on 04/28/2014 10:24 AM
      @Jim fuck you jerk off if it was your wile u wound not be saying that .
    3. Angry Bill posted on 04/28/2014 10:46 AM
      @Jim Jim, when your wife is lying on her deathbed dying of cancer that might be treated but won't be, because the liberal government told you it was against "their" rules, then I'm sure you will have GREAT comfort and satisfaction by telling your dying wife that "rules are rules". In fact, those will be the last words she will ever hear. Great comfort.
    4. NadineB815 posted on 04/28/2014 11:08 AM
      @Jim She had terminal brain cancer. Rules are rules. Avastin would not have made any difference.
    5. Angry Bill posted on 04/28/2014 11:44 AM
      @NadineB815 British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba would beg to differ with you.

      You do not know that it would not have made any difference. There was a chance that it would have, but it was the only chance she had left. Except in Ontario, where even that chance was taken away. The other three provinces mentioned thought that the chance was good enough for them to fund it. Ontario didn't. That certainly does not mean Ontario is right. Ontario obviously thinks that the chance of the drug working is not worth spending the money to possibly save someone's life. Financially, it makes sense for Ontario. But it certainly doesn't make the Ontario government look good. Not that they looked good before.
    6. Townie posted on 04/28/2014 12:15 PM
      @Jim You are a cruel, heartless, and blind member of the Ontario Liberal sheep population...BAAAAAA!!! Heaven forbid one of your loved ones starts dying and your only chance at a brief reprieve is met with a government official telling you, "rules are rules." Go on, keep grazing in the fields that the Ontario Liberals are feeding you.
    7. Michele posted on 04/28/2014 02:11 PM
      @Stacey unfortunately, the government does have parameters in place to balance all things, and life saving drugs is one of them - HOWEVER, they need to have a provision for these rare cases where something unique presents, and be open to consider - condolences to the family, and R.I.P. Kimm
    8. Will posted on 04/28/2014 05:03 PM
      @Jim Really Jim!!! How much money did the liberals wasted on eHealth? BTW, some of the money was stolen by their expensive consultants. How much money did the liberals wasted on the power plants? How much money did the liberals wasted on Ornge? How did the liberals kill Ontario's economy?

      A fraction of this money could have been spent on the cancer drug Avastin!!!
    9. Mark7 posted on 04/28/2014 05:28 PM
      @Jim You say "cry me a river", punk?! Maybe if your mum had Alzheimers or cancer you would then have a brain.

      One has to wonder with your ideology of "Rules are rules. They are there to prevent abuse and maintain some form of fiscal responsibility. It isn't perfect, but it is necessary.", if you approve of funding for in vitro fertilization which this bitch Mathews approves of.

      If there is a more perfect example of abuse, I doubt it. A child is a WANT and never a NEED. Not one red cent should go to helping those who cannot procreate on their own.
    10. Mark7 posted on 04/28/2014 05:31 PM
      @NadineB815 Are you a doctor? If not, just shut your stupid piehole. Avastin would have helped with her suffering. May you one day suffer the same fate as she, if your heart remains this cold and biased.

      Our governments always have countless millions to give to any country under duress, but never for our own people. It is utterly shameful and hypocrisy.
    11. NadineB815 posted on 04/29/2014 08:48 AM
      @Mark7 I have watched a friend die at age 50 from brain cancer, despite the availability of every treatment and drug in the world. You see, I am from the US and she had excellent health insurance that afforded her the best. And yes, my sister is a doctor. All these expensive drugs do is prolong the agony and make drug companies, doctors and hospitals wealthy here in the US. You should embrace your health care system, only the ones here in the US who have insurance are afforded the best care. I could go on and on about the senseless treatments and drug therapies used on terminal cancer patients just to make a dollar. There have to be limits and rules.
    12. NadineB815 posted on 04/29/2014 08:54 AM
      @NadineB815 I have watched a close friend die of brain cancer here in the US. (Yes, I am from the US). She had all the best care, treatments, drugs, etc. as you see she had excellent health coverage through her employer. It just prolonged her suffering and agony, while making money for her physicians, drug companies, etc. You are fortunate in Canada to have a health system for all, that is, anyone here who does not have excellent health care would not afford ANY type of treatment for terminal cancer. And yes, my sister is a doctor. This country just keeps treating and treating, prescribing and prescribing for terminal patients to give them a glimmer of hope while making money in return. There have to be limits and rules. There is only so much that can be done. There has to be fiscal responsibility especially in a case like this. While my heart goes out to her family, there is not much that could be done.
  2. Sonny posted on 04/28/2014 10:27 AM
    She had brain cancer and could have sought other forms of treatment.
    1. Angry Bill posted on 04/28/2014 10:48 AM
      @Sonny You seriously don't think she did??
    2. Townie posted on 04/28/2014 12:27 PM
      @Sonny It makes sense that your name is "SOnny" and not "SUnny," since the sun is typically very bright..
  3. john posted on 04/28/2014 10:28 AM
    her blood is now in the liberals hands thay failed her . because she is not a liberal voter . it is time for us to hold these asshole to account . time for a election get rid of these scumbags .


    god bless this women and R.I.P.
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 04/28/2014 03:19 PM
      @john The unfortunate moral of the story...
      If you are diagnosed with terminal illness of any ailment, get the fuzz out of Ontario as quickly as possible.
      The Lieberal government are sure to send you to an early grave.
    2. Karl Burgin posted on 04/28/2014 03:20 PM
      @john ...and if there was to be an election, the Liberals should be removed as an option.
      There should be no remote chance of them being re-elected by the blind sheeple, willing to follow them off the edge of a cliff.
    3. Mark7 posted on 04/28/2014 05:37 PM
      @Karl Burgin Sadly Karl, with the majority of voters in most elections being morons, they will still vote for the criminal, non caring Fiberals. It makes one want to stand on a rooftop and pick off these fools.
  4. dama posted on 04/28/2014 03:23 PM
    Even with her death,, Deb Matthew and Kathyne Wynne will still but bulge..
    hear of stone as far as I am concern.

    Some of you said,, rules are rules ,, but why are other province able to cover certain drugs and not Ontario?

    At times, rules can be bent to save lives..but the Liberal government prefers to
    waste billions on Gas plant. Ehealth and oRange scandals.. can you imgaine how much drugs these money can purchase?

    If any of you are smart enough,, you wouldnt vote for The Liberal.. especially Deb Matthew..
    1. Sonny posted on 04/28/2014 04:17 PM
      @dama Kimm took Avastin and did not live the year they mentioned as they fundraised for the drug. Would the PCs increase Health funding?

      P.S. Ford is 7 points behind in the most recent poll
    2. dama posted on 04/28/2014 04:48 PM
      @Sonny It is not about Health funding.. it is about bending the rules on compassionate ground ..in this case.. money for drugs that are not covered under OHIP.. if you really look at it.. it is OUR money..

      I hope none of your love ones suffers the same fate as Kimm Fletcher..
    3. Mark7 posted on 04/28/2014 05:39 PM
      @Sonny ps little Donny, this post is not about Rob Ford...duh!
    4. Mark7 posted on 04/28/2014 05:41 PM
      @dama A vote for the criminal, non caring Fiberals is akin to setting your wallet/purse on fire with your money in it.
    5. Tracy posted on 04/29/2014 09:26 AM
      @Sonny Ever think that if the poor woman and family didn't have to worry and stress about funding a drug privately she may have had strength to fight a bit longer? Maybe not having to worry about fighting to bring awareness about the lack of salvage drug protocols and pointless meetings with bureaucrats who have no intentions to bend any rules or even display an ounce of compassion wore her down to the point where it was easier to give up. This poor family will now be burdened with what if moments that will haunt them forever. The health minister can just close her file and be happy its one less media appearance.
    6. Karl Burgin posted on 05/07/2014 12:00 PM
      @Sonny Proves your sic obsession with Ford.
      This topic if miles away from Ford, and still you work his name in to discredit him. How sad for you.
  5. robert posted on 04/28/2014 04:17 PM
    You guys trying to counter with fiscal responsibility, hope you don't encounter the same problem. It's fine to give out methadone by the barrel, support women who can't keep their legs closed and take child support for a free ride, and support every international incident buy god forbid we support hard working honest people. This government disgusts me.
    1. Mark7 posted on 04/28/2014 05:38 PM
      @robert You touched on all the relevant points. Bravo! Criminal, non caring Fiberals voters should take heed of all you posted here.
  6. Mark posted on 04/28/2014 06:06 PM
    It's much more important to our corrupt, immoral, and incompetent liberals for them to spend copious amounts of money on our beloved pig faced teachers. Once that is done there is little left for the rest of us.
  7. Kevin Kerwin posted on 04/28/2014 11:29 PM
    Never heard of Kim's situation until tonight CTV news. I live in Alberta, for 32 years, previously Saskatchewan, always working and contributing to Health care system. Ironically, never had a serious health issue, until September 2009 when diagnosed with
    Grade 3 brain Tumor (not as aggressive as GBM). When a trial drug did nothing I was offered Avastin at about $5k per treatment x 26 treatments per year or about $150k including some Natropathic treatments , etc. I have been on Avastin now for over 2 years and has stopped the growth. Fortunately we have the resources to pay for the drug, however declining, and not how I expected to be spending my life saving in retirement. And I'm I the "Alberta Advantage" have province.? Not so much anymore!
  8. jennifer posted on 06/08/2014 01:34 AM
    My name is Jennifer and i want to testify of the good work done by a faithful DR PALOMA, a spell caster. in my life i never thought there is such thing as spiritual intercession. my problem started 5 months back when the father of my kids started putting up some strange behavior, i never knew he was having an affair outside our matrimonial home. it dawn on me on that faithful day 4th of April 21st 4:23pm when he came to the house to pick his things that was when i knew that situation has gotten out of hand and he then told me he was quitting the marriage which i have built for over 6 years, i was confused and dumbfounded i called on family and friends but to no avail. two months after i started having problem with my kids welfare rent-age and all of it, i really went through ***. until a day i was browsing on the internet and i happen to meet DR PALOMA Email palomaspelltemple@yahoo.com i never believed on this but i needed my man back so i gave the spell caster my problem at first i never trusted him so i was just doing it but you know a problem shared is half solved after a 2das my husband called me telling me that he his coming back home and that was all. now we are living happily and i still do contact him on this email: palomaspelltemple@yahoo.com
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