Leah Wiebe, right, and her sister Ruth Magee.

Young mother of two in need of expensive leukemia treatment only available in the U.S.

Leah Wiebe only has weeks to live without treatment that’s not covered by medical insurance

Friends and family of a local woman, who only has a few weeks to live if she doesn’t get a life-saving treatment in the U.S. soon, are trying to raise close to a $1 million to make sure it happens.

The treatment that could save Leah Wiebe, who has been fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) since May 2016, is called CAR T cell therapy and is not available in Canada but is available in the U.S, said her sister Ruth Magee.

It is a clinical trial and has an 87 per cent success rate, said Magee.

Wiebe has been approved to start the treatment as early as July 17 at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle and even though it’s a free treatment, Canadian medical insurance doesn’t cover any of the other necessary hospital and medical expenses, she said.

The centre must receive a deposit of $650,000 (Canadian) to cover the anticipated hospital expenses before they can start the treatment, added Magee.

A further $250,000 is needed to cover any additional unexpected medical expenses and the cost of living in Seattle for the duration of the treatment, she said.

Here is how you can give: https://www.youcaring.com/leahwiebe-868898 or e-transfer to leahsfightisourfight@gmail.com.

Several fundraisers have been planned locally and more are expected:

• Beyond Burgers will be selling hotdogs and classic cheeseburgers July 12 from 11 a.m. until they’re sold out at the former old yellow house lot in front of Real Canadian Superstore, and 100 per cent of the proceeds from those sales go directly to Wiebe.

• The Terrace Women’s Soccer Association will be hosting a BBQ this Friday, July 14th at 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. in the Sherwood Mountain Brewery parking lot, with all proceeds going to Leah’s fight. We’ll be cooking up burgers until they’re out. Come join us!

• Art Auction and Fundraiser kicks off at 5 p.m. July 14 until 5 p.m. July 21 at The Painted Squirrel. Fifty per cent of all final bids will be donated to Leah’s Fight is our Fight.

• Lunges for Leah is on July 15 from 11-noon at the Ecole Mountainview school field. This class is by donation for Leah so let’s make this the biggest group fitness class ever and continue to show support for Leah!

• Ranger Dan fundraiser show plays 7 pm. to 11 p.m. July 15 at the Elephant’s Ear Bistro. Also featuring Sonya Bruneau. All admission proceeds plus 50 per cent of Elephant’s Ear sales go to Leah’s Fight is our Fight. Tickets available at the door.

• Join us on July 18th at 7:30 p.m.-8 at the Rock Out for Leah Pound Class at George Little Park. All the proceeds go to Leah! We have 30 sticks, so if we fill up the first class we will offer a second class at 8:05. Class is by donation.

Ian Bagg and The Accelerators perform July 18 at The Northern Motor Inn. All ticket proceeds to Leah’s Fight is our Fight. Tickets on sale at Sight and Sound on Keith Ave., Thornhill Motors and Totem Ford.