The parents of 12-year-old Halle Krawczyk of Salmon Arm received welcome news on Dec. 7, 2020 that the Medical Services Plan has reversed its decision and would fund her surgery in the United States for a rare cancer. However, the family is told they are still faced with at least $150,000 in additional expenses to be incurred during the six months in the U.S. throughout the surgery and recovery. (Contributed)

The parents of 12-year-old Halle Krawczyk of Salmon Arm received welcome news on Dec. 7, 2020 that the Medical Services Plan has reversed its decision and would fund her surgery in the United States for a rare cancer. However, the family is told they are still faced with at least $150,000 in additional expenses to be incurred during the six months in the U.S. throughout the surgery and recovery. (Contributed)

MSP to fund Salmon Arm girl’s surgery to combat rare cancer after reversing decision

Medical Services Plan reverses decision to not help with U.S. cost, parents still face $150,000 bill

Having a child diagnosed with cancer is an emotional roller coaster at best, but the Krawczyk family has just reached an unexpected high.

Monday afternoon, Dec. 7, 12-year-old Halle Krawczyk’s Vancouver oncologist informed the family that the Medical Services Plan (MSP) has reversed its decision to not fund Halle’s surgeries for ‘poorly differentiated chordoma,’ a rare and deadly cancer that affects one in 20 million people.

Although Carolyn and Matt initially expected the three required operations with a world-renowned surgeon in Pittsburgh would be more than $100,000, they learned Dec. 4 that the surgeries would actually cost a minimum of $325,000 Cdn.

With associated bills in Canada while not being able to work, along with hotel accommodation, transportation, medical insurance and more during the six months in the U.S., the family was looking at a total cost of at least $500,000.

They are thrilled with the news.

Although the Krawczyks are still left with at least $150,000 in immediate expenses following the MSP’s change of heart, Carolyn and Matt’s first concern was about those people who have been or will be donating money.

“We do not want anyone to be misled in their giving!” Carolyn wrote in an email to the Observer as soon as she received the news.

Read more: Salmon Arm parents raise funds for surgery to combat daughter’s rare cancer

Read more: UPDATE: Surgery, related costs increase fundraising goal for Salmon Arm girl

Read more: 2018 – Update: Drug for young Shuswap girl with cancer to be made available

Leading up to this, the family had been told that the doctor and his team in Pittsburgh are best qualified to perform the rare pediatric surgery. However, MSP had told them that the surgery can’t be funded because the Canadian policy is that if a doctor in Canada can do the surgery, then it won’t be covered in the United States, Carolyn said.

Although that might be a good policy for some surgeries, this one is different, she had said, noting that Canada just doesn’t have the experience. The U.S. sees many more cases of chordoma, with just five per cent of them pediatric. Halle’s form of chordoma is even more rare.

As well as two surgeries removing the rapidly growing tumours on two upper vertebrae and on the clivus behind her nose, she must also have a spinal fusion. Proton beam radiation following the three needed operations could then prolong her life indefinitely.

“We’ve got one chance, we don’t want to mess it up,” Carolyn said.

She explained that she and Matt have been focusing so hard on advocating for the surgery for Halle that tallying all the additional upcoming costs has been secondary.

“We’ve been in total fight mode to just try to get Halle help that we haven’t been able to focus on all the things we need to. Hopefully we can do that now.”

Right now, gratitude is the prevailing emotion: “The great news is we know Halle gets her best shot at beating this!!!”


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CancerSalmon Arm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey city councillors complain not enough public input in committees

City has gone ‘exactly the opposite direction,’ Councillor Brenda Locke charges

Music therapist Felicia Wall in the music room at Phoenix Society in Surrey. (submitted photo)
Eclectic album showcases songs recorded by Surrey residents in recovery

Project at Phoenix Society took about six months to complete, with help of music therapist

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A Transit Police officer and another driver were injured on Nov. 4 in a traffic crash while the officer was responding to another officers call for help catching a man who escaped custody. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating Surrey crash that injured transit cop, another driver

Crash happened 11 p.m. Nov. 4, at 128th Street and 93rd Avenue in Cedar Hills

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Most Read