Donations help keep man alive
Published Monday, October 5, 2009 5:48PM MDT
Ryan Westerman believes the reason he is still here is thanks to Calgarian funding his brain cancer treatment.
He's been battling brain cancer for 12 years and when his tumour started growing again his doctors recommended the drug Avastin. Avastin is approved to treat colon cancer, but the drug isn't approved for use in brain cancer, and so this type of "off-label" usage, while legal, must be paid for by the patient.
After hearing his story, donations flooded in, enough for nine months of treatment. Westerman says "It built a lot of financial security which is an incredible part of fighting any disease and in that I could then take all of my energy and focus on the fight".
Tasha Westerman, Ryan's wife says "Now we're just so thankful because without Calgarians stepping forward the way they did we might not be here today. It might have been a very different thanksgiving for us".
The Canadian Cancer Society supports the use of Avastin. It wants the drug funded for use in more cancers