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Ontario won't cover cancer drug for Milton woman

Kimm Fletcher (centre) is raising funds to cover the cost of the drug Avastin to treat her brain cancer. HANDOUT

A Milton woman dying of cancer says the Ontario government won’t cover a drug which could help her live a little longer.

Kimm Fletcher, a 41-year-old wife and mother of two young children, is currently treating her Stage 4 brain cancer with Avastin, which costs $4,000 a dose.

Doctors had told Fletcher she might not live until Christmas, but with Avastin she could extend her life by 18 months.

She’s tried the drug and said the effects were almost immediate.

“Literally the next day — I woke up no side effects — I went to walk 10 minutes to and 10 minutes back to get my daughter from school,” Fletcher said.
“I hadn’t been able to do that in weeks.”

Avastin is covered in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and B.C., but Ontario only pays for the drug as a treatment for colon cancer.

Health Minister Deb Matthews said that’s because there’s no concrete evidence to suggest it works on brain tumours.

“The policy is we have a committee of experts that reviews the evidence and makes a recommendation,” she said.”

The Fletcher family has resorted to raising funds online and has collected more than $40,000 so far. One year of treatment costs $100,000.

Click here for more information or to donate.