Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Local Family in Crisis

Dear Friends,

Seventeen year old Nicole Bottles of Victoria is fighting to stay alive. She has Lyme disease, a devastating and infectious disease that has her wheel-chair bound, in constant pain and suffering from constant short-term memory loses. 

Tragically failed by the BC healthcare system, Nicole's parent have sold their home and used the proceeds to purchase life-saving medical treatment in the USA. 

The situation for Nicole is critical and I'm asking for your help in two ways.

Firstly, I ask for your support as I pursue this issue with the BC Minister of Health, Kevin Falcon. Nicole is far from the only victim in this ongoing mismanagement of critical health care for Lyme disease. Minister Falcon needs to ensure Nicole and others like her are receiving good medical care. That is not happening and it needs to happen now! 

Second, I ask you to consider making a small financial donation to Nicole Bottles. This is the season of giving and today I sent her $500. I know they will be grateful for any amount at all. Nicole's situation is so acute that there is no doubt the money will be spent just to offset her immediate expenses. A cheque, payable to Nicole Bottles, can be mailed to: Nicole Bottles, 622 Agnes St., Victoria, B.C. V9Z 2E6. Thank you!

You can learn more about what Nicole and others are going through by watching this excellent two-part CTV documentary. (Please note, it loads slowly and it is about 25 minutes long. Click here to watch the video.) 

Nicole was a dynamic and wonderful girl and I know she can be so again. She continues to live with passion and you can read her up-to-date and intimate blog at

David Cubberley 

press release follows

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 replacement 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: call David at number below.
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

This blog is about the rise of Lyme disease and other tick borne infections, in British Columbia and across Canada, and the failure of public health agencies to adequately warn and protect the public from this debilitating disease. Its purpose is to alert people to a danger that increasingly surrounds them, in the outdoors and in their backyards, and to pressure government, opinion leaders and public health officials to reform the medical framework for Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment. Today, due to faulty tests, lack of physician knowledge and inadequate treatment protocols, many patients are being forced to live with a devastating chronic illness rather than being given medically necessary care. Most have to travel to the United States to purchase healthcare they are entitled to under law in Canada, but currently denied. Many people are living in poverty as a result of personally financing antibiotics, which are the sole control and cure for chronic Lyme disease. This blog discusses issues and offers resources relating to Lyme disease diagnosis and cure. It aspires to be an instrument of change.