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Penticton family fights to recover cancer drug costs

PENTICTON, BC – Shortly after their son’s first birthday, Aaron and Ana Moen received the devastating news that their boy has cancer.

Aeson Moen is now 17-months old and entering his fifth cycle of chemotherapy this week.

But the treatment doesn’t end there.

“After taking the chemotherapy, he starts taking the shots to help boost the bone marrow back up,” explains the dad.

The shot’s technical name is granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF).

The family says those shots are vital to Aeson’s recovery, but G-CSF isn’t covered by the provincial government because it isn’t considered an active part of the cancer treatment.

“This drug is not a regular PharmaCare benefit, and is under review for Pharma coverage. However, PharmaCare does cover the drug for outpatients in exceptional cases,” writes the BC Ministry of Health in a statement.

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Aeson’s parents disagrees that families have to apply to receive this benefit.

“It just put this all weight back on our shoulders. I’m not working all the time and Ana stopped working. How are we going to fund it?”

Friends of the family are holding a fundraiser for Aeson at the Penticton Legion (502 Martin Street) on September 16.

The event starts at 5:00 p.m. and the Mexican dinner is served at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are $12.

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