With all the bad news we’ve heard as of late, stories like this restore our faith in humanity.
Not to mention – they reaffirm the power of crowd funding.
Earlier this summer, media outlets reported on the challenges facing an Oshawa couple – Trevor Grant and Jamie Barrette – who were struggling to pay for a special formula their twin babies need to eat. The twins were born early this year with a birth defect common in premature babies. A Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) prevented the twins from digesting regular food.
Doctors prescribed a special amino acid based formula called Neocate that allows the babies to digest the nutrients they need without potentially damaging their digestive systems.
The problem is that the formula is damn expensive and not covered by many insurance plans, including the couple’s. Not to mention, they already have three other children to provide for. The couple estimates that the formula costs about $80 per day.
The issue is that the formula is technically considered a nutritional supplement as opposed to a medicine and therefore lacks a Drug Identification Number. As a result, only some insurance plans will cover it through a special discretionary fund. Sun Life – the couple’s insurer – does not. Apparently, Grant’s employer doesn’t either. After multiple pleas for an exception, the insurance company has not backed down.
That’s where the goodwill of others comes in.
Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the local community, the crowdfunding campaign has raised more than $19,000 to help them. On top of this, a local Shopper’s Drug Mart has been providing the formula to the couple at cost as well as giving them Optimum points for every “like” on a Facebook photo of the twins. (You should probably go ahead and do that now.)
Many people have also been sending them actual cans of the formula.
Although the money raised so far won’t cover the entire cost of the formula — which the twins will probably have to continue eating for at least their first year — thanks to the generosity of friends and strangers alike, the couple can now spend more time with their babies instead of worrying about how they’re going to feed them.