ackie Wylie and her husband Peter Wylie pose for a photo in front of their home in Mississauga on Friday May 4,2012. They found out Jackie Wylie will be receiving the cancer drug she needs.
Credits: ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI AGENCY
After public campaign that was kicked off by Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington, Cancer Care Ontarip has agreed to cover the cost of an expensive treatment that will help Jackie - who is suffering from a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia - live a little longer.
"This means that I can have the drug administered in a hospital, which was a big concern for me," said a relieved Jackie, who has worked for Toronto Police for 23 years.
"My doctor expects me to start my treatments in about a week and a half."
Campath, the expensive drug necessary for the treatment, has been approved for use by Health Canada.
But unlike some other provinces - Nova Scotia and British Columbia, for example - Ontario does not cover the cost of the drug.
The treatment will cost around $43,000.
The couple was amazed to discover that neither their insurance company nor the Ontario Health Insurance Plan would cover the treatment.
It's a story that resonated with many others.
"I'm hearing horror stories from people in the same boat," said Peter Wylie, who also worked for Toronto Police and is known from his 30 year involvement with the Cabbagetown Boxing Club.
"There are people paying for their drugs who are being bankrupt. They can't even have these drugs they are paying for put in their arms in a public hospital they are paying taxes for."
It's intolerable and needs to stop, he added.
The couple knows they still have a long fight ahead of them.
"It's not a life-saving drug, it's a life-prolonging one," said Jackie. "That's the best we can hope for right now."
The provincial agency was unable to provide a statement about this specific case, saying they "cannot comment on individual client cases."