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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shame on you Alberta Government and Government of Canada:Kent Pankow passes away!!!!

I was appalled today to learn of the passing of Edmonton's Kent Pankow. Although I did not know
Kent personally, what he went through in the last ten years must have been so difficult. For whatever
reason or reasons, Kent was stricken with brain cancer ten years ago, and as a consequence had
 developed multiple brain tumors. His cancer went into remission after doctors had told
him he had at most 5 years to live. Sadly, in 2008 his cancer returned.

"Pankow and his wife, Deb Hurford, were spending $9,000 a month to get Avastin treatments.
Pankow was able to get the government to cover his costs, but shortly
after that the drug stopped working effectively. Why am I telling you
this? Because I did some research online and to my shock and horror I discovered the
following information about the awful manner in which the Governments of Alberta  and Canada
treated Kent!

According to the article "
Sick man faces bankruptcy — or death",written by
MARK BONOKOSKI on March 6,2010,

"Suffering from brain cancer, Kent Pankow was literally forced to go to the Mayo Clinic
 in Rochester, Minn. for lifesaving surgery — at a cost to family and friends of $106,000
 — after the health-care system in Alberta left him hanging in bureaucratic limbo for 16
 crucial days, his tumour meanwhile migrating to an unreachable part of the brain, while
 it dithered over his case file, ultimately deciding he was not
 surgery worthy!!!"

"Now, with the Mayo Clinic having done what the Alberta Cancer Board wouldn't 
authorize or even explain, but with the tumour unable to be totally removed, the
province will now not fund the expensive drug, Avastin, that the Mayo prescribed
 to keep him alive and keep the remaining tumour from increasing in size —
 despite the costs of the drug being totally funded by the province for other forms of cancer.
Kent Pankow, as it turns out, has the right disease but he has it in the wrong place.
Had he lung cancer, breast cancer, or colon cancer, then the cost of the drug —
$4,555 per treatment, two times a month —
would be totally covered by Alberta’s version of OHIP."

"Why is the government of Alberta willing to fund people in this province who have certain types of
cancer or certain types of illnesses, whereas this same government will provide funding
to people afflicted with other forms of  cancer or other diseases? If this is not some form of
discrimination then what is?

"CTV Edmonton did a major feature on the family’s plight on the 6 o’clock news
 and, almost before the program ended, Alberta’s health and wellness minister, Gene
Zwozdesky, was on the phone to their home — ensuring himself some positive press in the
 followup that aired later that night."
Then, when he heard the Pankows had filed a human rights complaint against the province,
justifiably citing medicare-based discrimination, Zwozdesky suddenly went mute — stating
he could no longer discuss the matter publicly."

Mark Bonokoski,
in his article about Kent Mark Bonokoski interviews Kent's wife, Deborah Hunford,
who he quotes as having stated::

“The Avastin is working. The size of the remaining tumour has remained static since October,” .
“But how can anyone afford almost $10,000 a month for a drug — even if it is saving a
 loved one’s life?”When Alberta health minister Gene Zwozdesky called the Pankow home 
on the night CTV Edmonton aired its story, he purportedly blamed the feds, namely
Health Canada, for deciding what drugs are covered, and for what.
Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, however, in a letter to Deborah Hurford,
wrote that “while Health Canada is responsible for the market authorization of drug products,
 the province and territorial governments are responsible for managing the list of drugs for which public reimbursement from government drug plans is available.”

This is truely a situatiion which indicates that the  health care systems in Alberta and Canada
are working against each other and are  so full of bureaucratic red-tape that they
actuallly may have caused Kent to die!!!

A trust fund has been set up to help Debbie if you can help out by donating money
for her and her family please click on the following banner.Thank you!

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.