Inuvik man plans to sue GNWT for Hep-C cure Tuesday September 8 2015 3 HEALTH WELLNESS TAINTED BLOOD EVERYONE IS INVITED by the Board of Directors NWT Seniors Society and Fort Smith Senior Citizens Society to attend the Annual General Meeting September 10 2015 at 1000 AM at the Curling Club Lounge Fort Smith NT Special Guest Speaker Dennis Bevington MP Western Arctic Agenda Discussions Include Review of Audited Financial Statements Appointment of Board of Directors 2015-2016 Review of New Draft Document Addressing Abuse of Older Adults A Strategy for the Northwest Territories A light lunch will be provided by the Fort Smith Senior Citizens Society This is a free event with resources and door prizes Come and Kick off the Fort Smith Seniors 55 Friendship Games from September 1113 2015 BY CRAIG GILBERT Rudy Cardinal describes a smile so big you could still hear it over the phone from 1400 kilometres away. The Inuvik man recalled stepping off the plane from Edmonton on April 16 of this year sure he had a prescription for a drug that would rid him of the Hepatitis-C he con- tracted after getting a blood transfusion at the Inuvik hospital in 1983. They could all see it it was a wide grin. Youd notice it Cardinal remembered of his return from the Alberta specialist. Every- one was as happy as I was. I havent smiled like that in 32 years. The smile fell off his face when he faxed his prescription for Harvoni which can ef- fectively cure Hepatitis-C in three months to the local drugstore. Contrary to what the Edmonton doctor had said just hours ear- lier Cardinal was told it wouldnt be covered. They tried having the doctor recall the prescription and make it for smaller amounts in order to fit into the funding formula. No dice. Those 90 pills promising to give him his life back cost 150000 and much to his sur- prise the very government that infected him was now refusing him the cure. Hes looking for a good lawyer and plans to sue the GNWT for 150000. Hes also considering suing for lost wages. Im alone in all this he said. Ever since I found out in 2007. Im at a loss for words. Cardinal said on Wednesday Sept. 2 that Inuvik Boot Lake MLA Alfred Moses had reached out and set a meeting for that af- ternoon. He wasnt sure what to expect but it gave him a ray of hope. Moses couldnt be reached before the print deadline which was early due to the long weekend. Cardinal received four units of blood while being treated for a burst stomach ulcer after vomiting for days. An estimated 2000 Canadians were in- fected with HIV and as many as 30000 more with Hepatitis during the tainted blood scandal. Governments the Red Cross and insurance companies paid out billions in compensation starting in 1989. With just a 15-year life expectancy Cardi- nal estimates 90 per cent of those patients have already died. Im lucky my disease is in remission now but I still have all the daily symptoms he said and there are a lot of unknowns and untruths about the disease. A lot of people I talk to dont have knowledge of the tainted blood scandal and others think Im infec- tious and dangerous to them. Im sad and disappointed so I went to the press to tell my story. Perhaps ironically its the excellent con- dition of his liver that is ostensibly prevent- ing him from being cured. Cardinal said the government uses the amount of scarring in the liver to decide who is covered. I dont think it should matter in my case he said. My liver was perfect in 1983 when I got the blood. As good as his liver may look on an X-ray it isnt helping the misery Cardinal said he lives in. It doesnt help him with the bad bad bad bad hangover he wakes up with every morn- ing without a drop of alcohol in his system he quitdrinkingandsmokingafterhisdiagnosis. It doesnt help him drag himself out of bed or when hes trying to force down his one meal a day - not with the rst try not with the often necessary second and third. He said his medical marijuana license helps with appetite and to make him tired enough at night to get ve or six hours of sleep. IbelieveinitImherebecauseofithesaid. He said he was doing 500000 a year in business with his auto shop before his symp- toms forced him to sell it. I still have pretty good common sense in my head so I try to stave it off he said. You want to just be left alone when youre sick but Im not going to give up on life. My mom survived cancer and she wasnt supposed to live either. Were survivors. The Journal reached out to Health Min- ister Glen Abernethy who didnt provide a statement before press deadline. Items found near remains belong to missing Japanese tourist RCMP JUSTICE MISSING PERSONS PhotocourtesyofRCMP BY CRAIG GILBERT Police say theyve linked a number of per- sonal items found alongside unidentied human remains near Yellowknife to a miss- ing Japanese tourist. The RCMP said on Sept. 2 that forensic testing of the remains could take months or longer but that sufcient evidence exists for police to determine without a doubt that the items belonged to Atsumi Yoshikubo. They wouldnt specify what items were found. The remains were happened upon by a hiker off the old Highway 4 in the early evening of Aug. 31. Police say theyll release more infor- mation as it becomes available. Yellowknife RCMP is aware of the public interest and the concern of the families who are hoping for answers in this discovery Yellowknife RCMP commander Insp. Matt Peggs said in a press release. Investigators are working expeditiously to bring comfort and closure to those concerned. We thank the public for their patience and assistance. PhotoMedicineNorthof60 Rudy Cardinal said everything stopped when he tried to ll his precription for Harvoni. Police released this image of Atsumi Yoshikubo in a Yellowknife gift shop last year.