B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

After months of trying to find funding for medicine that could change six-year-old Landen Alexa’s life, he was denied coverage from B.C. Pharmacare for a third time.

“It’s just me fighting right now. The media is over it, and I have been brushed off by [Premier] John Horgan and [Health Minister] Adrian Dix,” said Jillian Lanthier, Landen’s mother. “They won’t acknowledge me as a human being.”

Last June, Landen, a Sooke resident, was diagnosed with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, more commonly known as SJIA, a disease that causes his body to attack itself, leaving him with crippling muscle and joint pain and with virtually no immune system.

The disease is so severe, even a common head cold can be potentially fatal for him.

RELATED: Six-year-old Sooke boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

The medicine Landen is on now is no longer effective, and the only option for treatment is a drug called Ilarus, which is going to cost Lanthier $19,000 a month. It’s not covered by B.C. Pharmacare.

Landed spent Christmas Eve in hospital, screaming in pain from the disease, and yesterday began chemo to help manage the pain.

“They almost had to cut his shirt off because he had no mobility in his arms,” Lanthier said.

She explained that Landen has good days and bad days, but lately has been consistently coming home by noon in crippling pain.

“The chemo will hopefully help a bit, but I just look at it as ‘Here you go Landen, another Band-Aid’,” Lanthier said.

“I’m feeling very angry and sad.”

In response to Landen’s battle, a petition has been started by the Cassie and Friends Society for Chieldren with Juvenile Arthitis and other rehuematic diseases. So far, it’s received more than 8,000 signatures.

Lanthier added that she is frustrated because she has watched medicine, such as the abortion pill, recently get covered by the B.C. Health Ministry, but can’t get a response from anyone to find funding for Landen.

“It’s great that those types of things are free for everyone in the province now, but I am sitting here and my son is fighting to live a normal life, and no one will even acknowledge us,” she said.

There are only approximately 10 children in B.C. who are battling the same disease as Landen, and the medicine could greatly improve his quality of life, helping with pain and allowing him to make fewer hospital visits.

“I’m not giving up, and I’m not taking no for a third time as their final answer,” said Lanthier. “I have a lot more fight left in me, I just don’t know which avenue to take yet.”

Horgan, who is also MLA for the Sooke region, did not return calls for comment.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Rustlers out on tie-breaker at provincials

Team finishes 3-2, appeals decision

Pitt council takes action in wake of Murray sentencing

Put elected local government official on paid leave upon conviction of a serious criminal offence.

Higher education needed in Maple Ridge for high-tech, high-paying jobs

Having a post-secondary school and growing talent locally would help.

Pets: Chocolate bunnies for Easter

In B.C., bunnies have been culled numerous times because of the huge numbers of feral rabbits

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

LISTEN: Retired broadcaster gives voice to Fraser Valley history

Heritage buff Mark Forsythe introduces Valley Voices, a podcast featuring local history.

Most Read