A national petition to have modify the provisions of article 12 (3c) of the Act Employment Insurance, unchanged since 1971, which provides a maximum of fifteen [15] weeks of benefits payable in case of illness, in order to be adapted to today’s reality.

In Canada, it does touch all of us, directly or a close one, not matter province, religion, color and politic allegiances.

Contribute to a better future, our future…
Please, sign the petition.
Thank you!             

Marie-Hélène Dubé

Facing cancer

On the morning of my 32nd birthday, I received a call at 7 a.m. I was informed that I had thyroid cancer, which had spread to my lymph nodes. An advanced stage. A widespread, malignant tumour. I needed major surgery immediately and aggressive treatment, and I had two young children at home. Nothing, absolutely nothing, had prepared me for the news. This was in January 2003.

I am sure you can understand the sense of urgency that took over my life. Those days, I lived on adrenaline. Everything happened so fast I have trouble remembering certain moments. I couldn’t believe what was happening to me, because I didn’t even feel sick. And yet, I had cancer. The year that followed my diagnosis was challenging both physically and mentally. However, I persevered, and life gradually returned to almost normal. I thought I had slain the dragon.

Fast-forward to August 2007. The cancer was back. This was a very difficult time for me. I felt betrayed by life, by my own body. I fought back a second time with the same energy, and it was just as difficult. Unfortunately, this time the treatment worked for only a very short time.

Barely a year later, in September 2008, the dragon was back. The verdict was painful. Again, the situation was critical. I was overcome by rage and sadness. I wanted to quit, to just give up. I was exhausted. I was constantly picking up the pieces of my broken life and trying to put them back together, and then everything would break all over again. I felt like I was in a game of snakes and ladders without any ladders. For the third time, I also lost my job. That only added to my stress.

Next was the operation that you heard about in December. The risks were very high. There was a 30% chance I’d die or be permanently disabled. Luckily, I came through a six-hour surgery with controlled haemorrhaging and some minor nerve damage in my right arm and my neck area, which will probably go away over time.

Right now it is still too early to say if the operation was successful, but I am hopeful. I’m currently waiting for post-op treatment. These treatments have side-effects too, but that is part of the journey. Stay tuned! I promise I’ll post another update when I have more information!

I am so thankful that I have such wonderful people in my life. It is very difficult to fight a disease, but the experience can also be a time of extraordinary personal growth. That is how I got through it.

I’ll end here, but remember: no matter what happens, stay hopeful and never give up!

Thanks again!

Marie-Hélène xxxx

Download the petition
Marie-Hélène is this Quebec woman, who has after experiencing her third thyroid cancer recurrence, decided to initiate a petition to change a 40 years old law (1971) (www.petitionassuranceemploi.com). Indeed, according to existing by laws article 12(3) on Employment Insurance (EI), any person confronted with a catastrophic disease can only received 15 weeks of coverage.

Zosia Ettenberg from Vancouver is joining her voice to the Employment Insurance Petition after having initiated a similar petition herself. A certain Carlo Pellizzari http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/cancer-patients-lose-ei-during-treatment-1 from Vancouver is facing blood cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma, experiencing a similar financial challenge as Marie-Helene Dube. At 26 years, He is forcing to move back with his parents… 15 weeks; it is not enough any more in 2011. Please sign the petition for a better future, our future. Help these people to bridge over this period of their life in order to concentrate on their health, to keep their dignity and to become an active citizen again.