B.C. cancer survivor aims to raise funds for removal of cancer-linked breast implants
A White Rock breast cancer survivor wants to help other women avoid the disease by helping pay for the removal of potentially harmful breast implants.
But in order to raise the funds, she’s looking to sell one of her beloved late husband’s paintings.
Norma Morosan says her husband Vojaslav loved White Rock and spent a lot of time painting cityscapes, which became popular among locals.
Morosan says one particular painting of the White Rock pier could be the one to raise enough money for her cause.
“I realized I have something that would hold weight, that people would want and this would be the best cause ever,” she said.
“I went through my pity party for two days and jumped on board to see what I could do to help these ladies.”
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Morosan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and had a double mastectomy, opting to have reconstructive implants put in afterwards.
“I chose the textured ones because I was advised to go with that,” she said, referring to a type of implants known as Biocell made by the company Allergan Inc.
Those implants are now the subject of a recall by Health Canada, later expanded across the world, after becoming associated with a rare cancer known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Morosan found out through a letter from her doctor, and got the implants removed immediately.
But further digging revealed she was far from the only one now facing a cancer risk.
“It took me into a world of pain and suffering that these women are going through and it shouldn’t be, it shouldn’t be,” she said. “They’re angry and upset.”
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Unless woman who are looking to remove the implants are diagnosed with the rare lymphoma, they’re on the hook for the cost of the surgery, which runs between $8,000 and $10,000.
“It’s just heartbreaking. It really is,” Morosan said. “I mean I’m in a position where I can afford to get it done right away. [Others] are just waiting and getting worse and worse because [Medical Services Premiums] isn’t coming through.”
Hundreds of women in B.C. have joined a potential class-action lawsuit against Allergan.
Morosan is hopeful the money raised from selling her husband’s painting will be enough to help some of those women.
The fundraiser will take place in the next few months, Norma says, once she has her explant surgery.
She says she may even have to go to the United States, since doctors here are overloaded with patients looking for the procedure.
In the meantime, she wants the province to help others with their payments.
“Please step up to the plate,” she pleaded. “You paid for my implants to go in when I had cancer, now pay for them to be taken out and not cause anymore suffering.”
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