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

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

District of Clearwater meetings are open to the public. The meeting agendas and past meetings minutes can be viewed on the DOC's website. Every meeting has time allocated at the end for comments from the public.
District of Clearwater hires new chief adminstrative officer

The new CAO will arrive at the end of June.

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

Most Read