Sunday, November 05, 2006
Halloween, An Inspiring Group of Kids, and What Goes Up...
Well, it's been a busy week, to say the least. Isaac and Gabriel spent Halloween at the hospital while Isaac got his treatment done. We made sure that we went out trick-or-treating the night before and visited Nanny and Poppa and Great-Granny and Great-Grandpa. The kids had a great time, and they were both so cute! There was a bit of trick-or-treating done at the hospital as well, which is great for the patients at the hospital. What a wonderful place...
We also heard some great news from our friends in Kansas regarding their son Holden and his quest for ERT. They heard at the end of the week that they do qualify for ERT for Holden and will begin soon. What a relief for the family! We fully remember getting the great news and how anxious we were to start. Please drop by their site (listed with our links on the right) and send them a quick note of support and congratulations.
While we're thrilled that Holden will be getting ERT, it really puts the drug company's (Biomarin) priorities in perspective. The Guifoyle's got their diagnosis and were contacted by the drug company regarding treatment. They also had a case-worker assigned to their family and had help applying for funding. Excellent support from Biomarin, which is exactly what families need when they are going through such a difficult transition in their lives.
Rewind to our diagnosis and the NON-help that Biomarin gave to us. We made contact with the drug company to ask for support in having Naglazyme approved for use in Canada and got no assistance. We pleaded to access the drug at a reduced rate because we were going to bankrupt our family and friends and anyone we could think of. Their cold response was "that would affect our price in Canada." In essence, no help from Biomarin to get the drug approved, no help from Biomarin to try to pay for treatment ourselves, and no assistance in our fight with the provincial government to get treatment funded for Isaac. In our view, this is completely wrong and truly sheds light on Biomarin's goals -the bottom line. In a country where there is a reasonable assurance that they will receive funding for providing this ridiculously expensive treatment for affected children, they will provide as much assistance and support as needed. In Canada, where there is no application pending for the drug to be approved and there is no assurance that funding will be forthcoming by governments, officials at the drug company disappear. They don't care about families and their struggles unless they are going to be paid for providing treatment. Sickening, truly sickening. What Biomarin should be doing is assisting all families and all affected children. Set up a compassionate program for those affected and where funding isn't going to be forthcoming. At a million bucks per child per year, they're going to be making enough money. Perhaps they can make their money AND feel good about the children they are helping. Lets not let these kids die because of financial considerations.
Onto other matters and what goes up, must come down. Things have been going so well with treatment and we're seeing a lot of changes in Isaac. However, got a bit of troubling news recently that reminds us that we're still fighting a progressive disease and we have to find a cure. While at the hospital last week, Dr. Clarke discovered a prominent heart murmur in Isaac and noticed that his heart was beating fairly fast. We quickly went for a chest X-ray and an ECG. We see a cardiologist on Wednesday and have an Ecocardiogram scheduled for earlier in the day. Hopefully this will prove to be a non-issue. But it again proves how incredible The Hospital for Sick Children is. They got Isaac in for tests ASAP with very little waiting period. We see a specialist a week after the initial concern was discovered. We know of and read about many families that have to wait a lot longer to deal with these issues. We're lucky to have Sick Kids' as our primary care center for Isaac.
The Isaac Foundation