Bills adding up for mom with rare form of breast cancer
CAMBRIDGE -- A Cambridge woman who recently gave birth said bills are adding up after she was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer.
Carla Prestia said OHIP covers costs for chemotherapy and radiation, but not post-surgery garments, supply and extra optional treatments.
She is due for surgery in less than a month and has to shop for undergarments ahead of that.
"Camisoles that have pockets for the drains, so that I'm able to wear it for the two weeks," Prestia explained.
The drains will last two weeks, but recovering from a double mastectomy could take months.
"It's like your world ends," she said. "You think it's a death sentence, but really it's not."
Prestia's surgery is covered, but most of the items she'll need for recovery are not.
"Out of pocket, we're looking at $20 to $30,000 in treatment," Prestia's sister Cecilia Toonk said.
Prestia's sister and the rest of her family are helping out financially, but admit it isn't easy. They've started an online fundraiser.
"She's my little sister and I want to see her live a long time," Toonk said.
Prestia's cancer is called triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma.
"There is not a targeted treatment," Toonk said. "It's aggressive and it is rare."
Her family said the diagnosis has led to additional costs. Optional treatments, like hyperthermia, aren't covered. They've already spent close to $10,000 on it.
Prestia gave birth at the end of 2019.
"I'm on mat leave now, but I don't know if I can return to work in December when I'm supposed to because of the recovery," Prestia said.
Her biggest worry is her children -- one is seven months old and the other five years old.
"I want them to be cared for, because they're still young," Prestia said.
The Cambridge mom said she's grateful to have a strong support system by her side.