TBT: A Call to Action!
Advocacy is nothing new to Rethink. In 2011, Jill Anzaurt wasn’t able to gain access to the drug Herceptin, a potentially life-saving but expensive targeted treatment that can help patients with aggressive HER-2+ breast cancer, because her tumour was deemed too small to treat. Rethink worked with Jill, a brave and determined young mother of two, and launched a letter writing campaign to the Ontario Minister of Health, which spread like wildfire! Jill’s powerful story coupled with the advocacy efforts of Rethink and other breast cancer organizations played a major role in the announcement of Cancer Care Ontario’s Evidence-Building Program, which approved OHIP coverage of Herceptin for eligible patients with HER2 positive breast cancer and tumours of all sizes.
Fast forward to 2016 and Rethink is stirring the pot again by putting young women at the center of making changes to improve the lives of all women.
Currently in Ontario there is a 1-2 year wait time for breast reconstruction. Yes, you heard me 1-2 YEARS until women can feel like they can move forward from their breast cancer! Unacceptable? We think so too.
Timely access to breast reconstruction is an important issue for Rethink specifically because younger women are more likely to opt for preventative surgeries and reconstruction and rates of mastectomy in women younger than 40 are rising quickly.
On October 19th Rethink Breast Cancer descended on Queen’s Park to advocate for women affected by breast cancer.
Breast reconstruction wait times was on the Question Period agenda that day and we were psyched to hear the Minster of Health acknowledge that it is “unacceptable” for women to be waiting that long for breast reconstruction. We agree!
“It is unacceptably long for women who have to go through this traumatic physical and mental procedure—the challenges that they’re facing. We’re obligated to make sure that we’re providing a better system and better support for them, and we’re making the changes to deliver just that.” Honourable Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health, Ontario
We need your help to ensure the Minister stands by his word and commits to truly reducing the wait times for breast reconstruction. We are calling on the Minister of Health to Increase surgical resources in the province (like Operating Room time) to benefit all patients looking to access breast reconstruction.
Like in 2011, let your voice be heard by joining our letter writing campaign to the Minister of Health and be part of the change HERE.
Want to get involved with more advocacy initiatives? Join our movement here.