For those of you know Leanne Yacyshyn (nee Geransky) it is impossible not to appreciate her incredibly kind, giving heart, her unwavering faith and her love for people and life. She has given her whole life to others and I am hoping we can give back to her and to help her and her family in this time of need. My name is Nicole and I am a very long-term friend of Leanne’s and it is with much prayer and contemplation that I decided to commence this campaign to support her and her family during this incredibly challenging time. Soliciting Leanne’s approval to do this has been challenging and (to be honest) I don’t think I have absolute approval but I’m going to go ahead with this in hopes that we can help the Yacyshyn family in some small way.
In the Spring of 2016, while living in Calgary, Leanne started to feel weakness in her right hand and brushed this off as computer overuse due to her responsibilities as an elementary school teacher. Her doctors sent her for physiotherapy and massage therapy but the weakness did not subside. In December Leanne met with a Neurologist who sent her for an emergency MRI. A couple days later Leanne and her mom met with the Neurologist (Cory was working out of town) and received the devastating diagnosis that Leanne had ALS. Her life changed forever this day; she was 43 years old.
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as “Lou Gerigh’s Disease” and the Ice Bucket Challenge raised much awareness of this lesser known disease. ALS is a terminal disease with an average life expectancy of 2 to 5 years (though some live longer). ALS leads to muscle degeneration and eventually persons lose the ability to walk, talk, swallow, eat, and eventually breath. The brain, however, remains fully functional. This is a cruel disease to which there is no cure.
Typical ALS patients face depression and dismay and often spend months in bed following a diagnosis. Not Leanne! She met ALS head on and is determined to slow symptoms down as much as possible. In addition to working with her Neurologist, she immediately began investigating and using alternative methods of care. Leanne spends a large part of each day working with various alternative care providers, is undergoing stem cell transplants, Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments, and IV therapy. None of these costs are covered under BC Medical though Leanne and Cory are trying to figure out ways to make this work.
In May 2017, a new ALS drug entered the market called Radicava. This is the first ALS drug introduced in 22 years and is proven to reduce ALS symptoms by up to 33%. To get this drug in the US the cost is $144,000 per year. This drug is not approved by Health Canada and obviously the cost of this drug is unattainable for the family. They have discovered, however, that they can ship this drug from Japan for a fraction of the price ($20,000 US per year). We are hoping we can help the family reach their goal of attaining this new ALS drug in hopes that it will reduce the progression of ALS for Leanne.
I prayerfully ask that, if you are able, you consider helping Leanne and her family in her battle with ALS and help Leanne attain the Radicava drug from Japan. No donation is too small, every little bit helps. Thank you, friends, for your consideration and support. XOXO
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