OTTAWA — A 23-year-old Ottawa woman with cystic fibrosis received a life-saving medication this week, and is now vowing to continue to fight until every single CF patient has it “in their hands.”
Last week, CTV News Ottawa introduced you to Sara Aldrich, who said her private medical insurance would not cover the $300,000 a year cost for the drug Trikafta. Trikafta is approved for use in Canada, but is not covered by her private insurance.
In a post on Facebook, Aldrich said she was notified by OHIP+ last week that her application to cover the cost of the drug had been approved.
“I am nearly 24 years old, realizing that as of today, I never have to live another day with the fear of how many days I have left,” said Aldrich in a post on Tuesday. “The day has come. I OFFICIALLY RECEIVED TRIKAFTA.”
Cystic Fibrosis Canada called Trikafta “the biggest innovation in cystic fibrosis treatment”, adding it can treat up to 90 per cent of Canadians with cystic fibrosis.
“My lung function is the lowest it’s ever been, and I can’t see it ever going back up unless I get Trikafta,” said Aldrich last week.
Aldrich was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at an early age, and has lived a mostly active life.
“I’ve watched my lung function go from the 90s to the 40s in 3 years. I’ve been told that there are no options left,” said Aldrich on Facebook. “The only thing left that could possibly save me from a life ending before it has even begun is the miracle drug called Trikafta.”
Aldrich says receiving Trikafta starts her journey of, “finally being able to accomplish all the goals I have set out for myself.”
“As much as I would like to say that this is the best day of my life, truth is, it’s bitter sweet. While I have the medication that will save those with CF, I still watch my brother struggle with the same issues I have been dealing with over the years,” said Aldrich.
“My brother is someone that I have always looked up to, and if I’m honest, he’s more deserving of this medication than I am. The harsh reality is that I sit here BEGGING for insurance companies to approve this drug for EVERYONE with Cystic Fibrosis. If you think I’m done fighting just because I got trikafta, you’re wrong. My big brother, my best friend, my hero is also in NEED of this medication. As well as thousands of others. And I will NOT stop until every single CF patient has it in their hands.”
With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Peter Szperling
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