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SFU student could lose $750K life-saving drug if his kidneys don’t improve

Click to play video: 'BC man worries over life-saving drug coverage' BC man worries over life-saving drug coverage
WATCH: Paul Chung has received his first dose of Soliris, but his family is worried he's only covered for a short time – and that the province may not pay for more. Grace Ke reports – Dec 24, 2017

Paul Chung was once a criminology student at SFU, dreaming of a career in law enforcement.

Then, over the summer, he started suffering from headaches, a fever and a swollen throat.

WATCH: Shantee Anaqoud goes home for Christmas

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Shantee Anaqoud goes home for Christmas – Dec 14, 2017

He was diagnosed with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a rare autoimmune disease.

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Now, he doesn’t seem optimistic about going back to school.

“I’d really like to go back to university to study, but I don’t think it’ll happen,” he told Global News.

The provincial government approved Chung for Soliris, an expensive drug that has been at the centre of a coverage controversy.

Earlier this year, UBC student Shantee Anaquod was diagnosed with aHUS, putting her in hospital for months.

Soliris costs $750,000, and B.C. didn’t cover it at the time.

READ MORE: ‘I can start with my life again’: life-saving drug approved for B.C. woman with rare disease

But the province later decided to cover the drug for Anaquod, making her the first to receive it as a publicly-funded treatment.

Chung was approved too — but for only three months, and under one condition.

“They said my kidneys have to become healthier, better, in the three months,” he said.

“For me to become… healthy enough to stop doing dialysis.”

Chung has taken Soliris for about a month now, and he makes the trip from Langley to Vancouver for dialysis three times a week.

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An advisory committee will evaluate his progress with the medication.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix has said Soliris coverage will be treated on a “case-by-case basis.”

“What we’re doing is we’re putting this issue appropriately in the hands of experts,” he said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Paul’s treatment.

The page is seeking $20,000, and $250 had been raised on Tuesday.

In October, a petition was handed to the provincial government, with the help of MLA Rich Coleman, to make Soliris treatment an option for patients with aHUS and their health care providers.

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