Brain cancer victim confronted Ontario government about why Avastin, a drug paid for elsewhere, would not be funded for her

Kimm Fletcher was never one to back away from a challenge. While many terminally ill patients understandably retreat to put their lives in order and wait for the end, the Ontario wife and mother of two chose to fight publicly for a treatment that might have prolonged her life.

Suffering from an aggressive type of brain cancer, she spoke out in the media and confronted the provincial government about why Avastin, a cancer drug paid for in three other provinces, would not be funded for her. Her compelling story helped shed light on the push for a nationwide drug-funding system that advocates say is needed to resolve discrepancies that are unfair to Canadians.

“She didn't go looking for the fight,” said her husband, Scott Fletcher. “But when it came to her she didn't back down.”

Kimm Fletcher was born in Montreal on Oct. 3, 1972, to Keith Poirier, a line splicer for Bell Canada, and his wife, Marilyn. She would be the middle child between her brother, Terry, and sister, Robin.

The family followed her father's job, moving first to James Bay and then ending up in Oakville, Ont., in the early 1980s. Ms. Fletcher attended White Oaks High School, graduating in 1991. She then took a two-year program at nearby Sheridan College as preparation to pursue her dream of becoming a police officer.

She went to B.C., where she found work as a security guard, but eventually moved back to Ontario. She was working in security at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto in 1998 when she met Mr. Fletcher, another Oakville resident who had also gone to White Oaks.

Susan Smith Reports

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