B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

After months of trying to find funding for medicine that could change six-year-old Landen Alexa’s life, he was denied coverage from B.C. Pharmacare for a third time.

“It’s just me fighting right now. The media is over it, and I have been brushed off by [Premier] John Horgan and [Health Minister] Adrian Dix,” said Jillian Lanthier, Landen’s mother. “They won’t acknowledge me as a human being.”

Last June, Landen, a Sooke resident, was diagnosed with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, more commonly known as SJIA, a disease that causes his body to attack itself, leaving him with crippling muscle and joint pain and with virtually no immune system.

The disease is so severe, even a common head cold can be potentially fatal for him.

RELATED: Six-year-old Sooke boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

The medicine Landen is on now is no longer effective, and the only option for treatment is a drug called Ilarus, which is going to cost Lanthier $19,000 a month. It’s not covered by B.C. Pharmacare.

Landed spent Christmas Eve in hospital, screaming in pain from the disease, and yesterday began chemo to help manage the pain.

“They almost had to cut his shirt off because he had no mobility in his arms,” Lanthier said.

She explained that Landen has good days and bad days, but lately has been consistently coming home by noon in crippling pain.

“The chemo will hopefully help a bit, but I just look at it as ‘Here you go Landen, another Band-Aid’,” Lanthier said.

“I’m feeling very angry and sad.”

In response to Landen’s battle, a petition has been started by the Cassie and Friends Society for Chieldren with Juvenile Arthitis and other rehuematic diseases. So far, it’s received more than 8,000 signatures.

Lanthier added that she is frustrated because she has watched medicine, such as the abortion pill, recently get covered by the B.C. Health Ministry, but can’t get a response from anyone to find funding for Landen.

“It’s great that those types of things are free for everyone in the province now, but I am sitting here and my son is fighting to live a normal life, and no one will even acknowledge us,” she said.

There are only approximately 10 children in B.C. who are battling the same disease as Landen, and the medicine could greatly improve his quality of life, helping with pain and allowing him to make fewer hospital visits.

“I’m not giving up, and I’m not taking no for a third time as their final answer,” said Lanthier. “I have a lot more fight left in me, I just don’t know which avenue to take yet.”

Horgan, who is also MLA for the Sooke region, did not return calls for comment.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Houston athlete trying out for regional girls’ team

Zone 7 girls’ team is first in eight years

Winter road maintenance standards boosted

Quicker response times, longer winter tire season to be implemented

HVAC overhaul to continue this summer

Upgrades at Houston Secondary School (HSS) are a long-time coming, according to… Continue reading

Northern B.C. rail service is unreliable and inadequate, trade minister says

Bruce Ralston pushes federal minister of transport to ensure reliable supply of rail cars

Celebrate the Value of Volunteering

National Volunteer Week is April 15-21

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Most Read