Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nicole Bottles

For Immediate Release
December 16, 2009

Lyme Disease Victims Forced Back to USA To Buy Healthcare

Forcing Nicole Bottles and other B.C. Lyme disease victims to pay for treatment in the U.S. is a grievous harm that contravenes the Canada Health Act, said David Cubberley, past MLA and a Director of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation.

“Nicole and her mom, Chris Powell, are back in California paying $3900 U.S. to have Nicole's IV antibiotic port replaced,” said Cubberley. “Last week they were refused placement at an ER ward on the grounds that Nicole hasn’t tested positive on Canadian soil for Lyme.”

“This is costing the Bottles thousands of dollars – money they don’t have – to buy care they’re entitled to under Medicare,” said Cubberley “ Nicole has chronic Lyme that tested positive at a registered U.S. lab, but she’s being denied antibiotics and home services here despite being wheel-chair bound.”

Nicole is like many hundreds of British Columbians whose Lyme disease is never diagnosed in B.C. because of faulty guidelines and flawed testing. Lyme-literate physicians from Seattle to Los Angeles provide the bulk of care to B.C. lyme victims.

“I’m concerned that Nicole is being denied the treatment she needs here in B.C.,” said Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South. “The family is living in extreme hardship, paying $1100 U.S. a month for Nicole’s meds alone.”
Popham and Cubberley are making a plea for donations to help cover Nicole's recent medical expenses which will total well over $7000. "This situation has all but bankrupted the Bottles family," Cubberley said.
"We have begun a fundraising drive this week to help them with this financial emergency,” Lana Popham said. “David Cubberley started the drive by donating $500. So far, over $1000 has been donated directly to Nicole Bottles and we hope to have at least $7000 by the end of the month".
A cheque, payable to Nicole Bottles, can be mailed to: Nicole Bottles, 622 Agnes St., Victoria, B.C. V9Z 2E6.
17-year-old Nicole showed symptoms of Lyme two years ago but saw 12 specialists in B.C. without a diagnosis. The B.C. Healthguide suggests B.C. doctors will clinically diagnose Lyme from symptoms and promptly treat it without tests. In reality, many doctors don’t recognize Lyme and depend entirely on a flawed diagnostic and testing protocol that misses most Lyme infections.
Media Contact:
David Cubberley 250-818-1129
Lana Popham 250-507-4222
Chris Powell 778 433 1047