Saturday, February 27, 2016

 

Health

Wonder Drug, Wonder Woman

$60K treatment cost for local woman out of reach for most MS patients

 

or the past few years, Kimberlee Moran was tired and experiencing painful muscle spasms. The Abbotsford resident attributed the symptoms to stress – until she woke up one morning with numbness in her hand that lingered for days. Concerned, Kim visited her doctor who told her she likely had carpal tunnel syndrome and advised her to wear a brace.

 

A few months later, Kim was experiencing what felt like “an electric shock” down her side whenever she would tilt her head forward, in addition to tingling in her legs and vision problems. After conducting x-rays and an MRI, Kim was officially diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) on November 10, 2014.



“At the time, I was loving life. I had just turned 30, was happily married and was training to run a half marathon. Professionally, I had just been promoted and was traveling a lot for speaking engagements. I felt like I had a handle on things,” Kim says. “But as soon as I saw the MRI results, I knew it was MS. The diagnosis happened so quickly that I barely had time to wrap my head around it.”

After researching her treatment options, Kim chose a new and different type of MS treatment called LEMTRADA™(alemtuzumab). Requiring only two treatment courses one year apart, LEMTRADA is first administered by intravenous infusion on five consecutive days and then on three consecutive days, 12 months later.

 

Although requiring monitoring at regular intervals between treatment courses and for 48 months following the final infusion, clinical studies to date have shown that 80 per cent of RRMS patients who received two treatment courses of LEMTRADA required no further therapy.

 

“I chose LEMTRADA because of the hope it instilled,” says Kim. “So when I found out my private insurance wouldn’t cover the treatment for me, I was devastated. I felt like that hope had been snatched away.”

Fortunately, a friend of a friend who was acquainted with the progressive nature of MS offered to pay for Kim’s first round of treatment. Meanwhile, another friend offered to help her with any associated costs.

“When I left my last appointment, I finally felt like it’s going to be possible for me to live a normal life and that I won’t have to give up some of the things I thought I would,” says Kim. “Access to a treatment that could stop the progression of the disease is a game changer. With it, there are so many possibilities that can come to people with MS. LEMTRADA changed everything for me.”

Finishing her second - and hopefully last - round of treatment on February 23, 2015, Kim is planning on running a half marathon in June.

Both Kim and her neurologist firmly believe she made the right treatment decision for her.

You can also read more about her MS journey on her personal blog, www.ineverything.ca


About MS in Canada
With 100,000 Canadians living with MS and three people newly diagnosed every day, Canada has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world. As most people are diagnosed with relapsing MS in their twenties and thirties, MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

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