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Monday, September 5, 2016

North Delta family seeks help paying for drug to treat MS


                                                                  
  

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Christa Fox and her daughter Kayla hold jars of jam that Kayla has been making and selling to help pay for a new drug to treat her brother Kory
Christa Fox and her daughter Kayla hold jars of jam that Kayla has been making and selling to help pay for a new drug to treat her brother Kory's MS.— Image Credit: Frank Bucholtz

By  Frank Bucholtz - North Delta Reporter
posted Sep 4, 2016 

Christa Fox wants her son Kory to have the same chance to fight multiple sclerosis (MS) as is available to people in several other provinces.

The North Delta resident and licensed practical nurse (LPN) is trying hard to come up with funding for Kory to be able to take Lemtrada, a newer drug recommended by his neurologist. However, thus far the B.C. government is not funding treatments of the drug, even though several other provinces (Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) will pay for it for their residents through provincial pharmacare programs. In B.C., the drug is still being evaluated for inclusion in PharmaCare.

Kory, 19, was diagnosed with MS in 2014. Even though his mother and stepfather (her ex-husband) have drug benefit plans through their workplaces, neither plan will cover the drug treatment either.

Christa, Kory and his siblings aren’t accepting that rejection. They have started a GoFundMe page to cover the estimated $60,000 cost of the drug treatment. As of Aug. 29, the page had raised $6,600.

“If he gets this treatment, there’s an 80 to 90 per cent chance he will be symptom free for the rest of his life (remission forever). If I cannot make my goal, I will donate what I raise to the MS Society or use it towards treatment of another drug,” Christa writes on the GoFundMe page. “This is very hard for me to ask for help, but I must put my pride aside to at least try.”

Lemtrada is a new drug which that became available in Canada in 2014. It is a monoclonal antibody (a protein) which works on the immune system. Neurologist Dr. Anthony Traboulsee, who is treating Kory and is also associate professor of neurology at UBC and medical director of the MS clinic at UBC Hospital, has recommended the treatment for Kory. He believes it will repair the myelin in his spinal cord and brain and will have a positive effect far beyond the treatment cycle.


“The goal is to slow down or stop the MS from getting worse,” Christa says.


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