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

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Nelson Police responded to 802 calls last year they say had an element of mental health. File photo
Nelson Police: 802 mental-health related calls in 2020

That accounts for 12 per cent of total calls for service

Several large trees came down in the recent windstorm and destroyed a part of the building that houses Camp Koolaree’s showers and boy’s washroom. The camp has served generations of Kootenay families since 1931 as the Nelson area’s longest running children’s summer camp. Photo: Submitted
Camp Koolaree’s wash house destroyed by January windstorms

The camp is in need of donations to make repairs

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Volunteer firefighters from Grand Forks Fire/Rescue head towards the scene of fatal car crash near Gibbs Creek Road, below Highway 3, Thursday evening, Jan. 21. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Motorist dies in Highway 3 crash west of Grand Forks

City first responders were called to the scene Thursday evening, Jan. 21

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram could be playing for Colorado when the NHL resumes play. (Rik Fedyck/file)
Cranbrook product Bowen Byram makes NHL debut with Avalanche

Highly touted prospect marks first pro game following World Junior tournament in Alberta

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Most Read