Wellington County man will die without help from gov't, says family
The family of 26-year-old-Lucas Maciesza is appealing to the Ontario government to pay for an expensive treatment that could save his live.
Maciesza is currently in critical condition at a hospital in Fergus. He suffers from Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH). It's a rare blood disease where anemia occurs as red blood cells are destroyed in the blood stream. If left untreated, the disease will destroy Maciesza's blood and major organs.
Soliris is the medication used to treat PNH. It was approved by Health Canada in February 2009. However, the drug costs half a million dollars each year, and the government won't cover it.
Without the drug the family says they are left with risky alternatives.
"The alternatives are things like a bone marrow transplant, which comes at a very high cost and the probability of success is only 62 percent with tons of complications after," says Rick Maciesza, Lucas' father.
In an email statement to CTV News, Health Minister Deb Matthews says her department is looking into the issue.
"I am aware of this family's situation and my heart goes out to them. I have asked the ministry to ensure we are considering the family's request as quickly as possible. Ontario relies on the advice of medical experts when making decisions on the drugs the province funds," says Matthews.