Jill Anzarut is not a doctor, researcher or nurse – but she has changed the treatment options available for many breast cancer patients.
Jill’s personal fight with breast cancer became public when she was turned down for the potentially lifesaving drug called Herceptin. It is an effective drug, but also expensive and reserved for patients with tumours greater than 1cm.
Jill’s tumour was too small, but her doctor requested a special exception for the use of Herceptin. Even with the request, Jill was denied the treatment.
To Jill, this didn't make sense. She had cancer and a treatment was available, but out of her reach. Instead of giving up, Jill showed tenacity and perseverance to combat certain policies of the Ontario government. She had the courage to not only fight the disease, but to fight for effective treatment for breast cancer patients. As a result, Herceptin is now available to more breast cancer patients across Ontario and Canada.
In her fight against breast cancer and triumph in leading change, Jill Anzarut shows how courage lives in all of us.