A community rally is happening today in front of Premier John Horgan’s office in Langford for a young boy who is struggling with a rare form of arthritis.
Jillian Lanthier has been pleading with the BC Government for months to approve funding for the drug canakinumab, a $19,000 per dose medication that will help her 6-year-old son Landen.
The province has denied the family coverage for the medication that could give him a better quality of life.
The disease is called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritisa and affects approximately 24,000 infants to teens in BC and Canada, or 3 in every 1,000, making it one of the most common causes of chronic disability in children.
Ten to 20 percent of those children have Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA), a severe and potentially life-threatening form of the disease – and many can’t get the medication they desperately need.
Sooke resident, Tanis Nielsen-Rhoads, who does not know the family, but has been following the coverage and has decided to take action with other community members and arranged a rally in front of Horgan’s office in Langford today at 1 pm.
Nielsen-Rhoads told CHEK News she chose Horgan’s office because he is their member of parliament and they want answers.
“This is to show that the community supports Landen and his fight for the right to medication to give him a quality of life. It is time that the form letters from our Premier John Horgan and Health Minister stop and they address this family,” Nielsen-Rhoads wrote on Facebook.
A GoFundMe campaign has already raised $11,685 for the family.
An online petition has been set up urging the government to approve canakinumab on a case by case basis. So far, 19,142 people have signed the online document.
- When: Monday, January 15 from 1 PM – 2 PM
- Where: Premier John Horgan’s office at 2806 Jacklin in Langford