'I’m crying': N.S. woman receives gift of medication from parents in mourning
MASSTOWN, N.S. -- The family of a Nova Scotia woman who died after a battle with cystic fibrosis last month has donated her CF medications to another patient in need.
Nicole Turple thanked Chantelle Lindsay’s family in a post on Facebook on Monday.
“I am crying tears that your generosity has relieved so much stress off my shoulder,” she wrote.
The medication is called Symdeko, one of the breakthrough gene-modulating drugs made by Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The same company also makes Trikafta, which isn’t approved for use in Canada yet.
The Lindsays contacted Turple after she wrote a post on Facebook, expressing frustration after spending months trying to get her private insurance company to cover her doctor’s prescription for the drug.
Next thing she knew, the 28-year-old got a call from Mark Lindsay.
He told her the family wanted her to have a four-month supply of Symdeko that they had obtained for Chantelle before she died.
The 23-year-old Nova Scotia woman died last month after being denied compassionate use of a different CF drug called Trikafta, which is made by the same company.
Turple says she was speechless.
"I automatically started crying,” Turple says. “Because how could I ever repay somebody for what they were about to do for me?”
The drugs would normally cost more than $123,188.
“I told the Lindsays, with this four months, I’m guaranteed now, to see my 29th birthday in July,” she says with tears in her eyes.
Cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disease which affects the lungs and often leads to death at a young age.
Lindsay says when he and his wife heard about Turple’s struggle getting insurance coverage, they knew what they had to do.
“We wanted to help her,” Lindsay says. “We know the struggle she’s been going through – insurance doesn’t want to pay, government doesn’t want to pay. We wanted to make sure she could get it, and get on it.”
As fellow CFers, Nicole and Chantelle knew each other, often chatting through text and social media -- until Chantelle was too sick to text back.
“The last conversation that I had with her, I said, ‘Chantelle, so many people are rooting for you, you got this,’” Turple says. “She said, ‘I just hope they continue to root,’ and her parents have done so much.”
Turple now has a claim in with another insurance company, which she hopes will be approved before this supply runs out.
Now that she has the medication from the Lindsays, Turple plans to take her first dose of Symdeko on Friday.