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Times Colonist – Julia Wolf returns from Toronto trip without cancer treatment – A Saanich woman’s heartbreaking plight

Julia Wolfe, 30, is leaving her Saanich home Monday for a flight to Toronto, where she’ll be treated with a new drug as part of a clinical trial. Photograph By DARREN STONE


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Julia Wolf returns from Toronto trip without cancer treatment

Sandra McCulloch / Times Colonist
May 28, 2014 10:16 PM

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Julia Wolf has had a rough week or two.

The 30-year-old single mother from Victoria flew to Toronto thinking she would get a life-saving treatment — an experimental cancer drug approved for clinical trials — for metastatic melanoma.

It was a ray of hope in a pretty grim situation; Wolf had been told she had only eight weeks to live.

Doctors in Toronto gave Wolf an initial consultation, then sent her home without treatment, saying they would monitor her situation. Wolf returned home Friday only to be hospitalized with a raging kidney infection.

“Right now, I feel very crummy,” Wolf said Wednesday from her bed at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Both Wolf and her Victoria oncologist were disappointed she didn’t get the treatment in Toronto. “It’s a really promising drug but I can’t seem to get it,” Wolf said.

She returned home without the heart to tell her five-year-old son, Lucas, that she didn’t get the medicine she needed to get better. “Poor little guy,” she said.

Wolf is overwhelmed that people have donated more than $20,000 to an online fund.

“I keep sporadically crying but they’re happy tears,” she said. “It’s so moving that people I don’t even know are taking their hard-earned money and donating it in hopes that I will get better.”

She asked for prayers and positive thoughts in hopes things will work out and she’ll recover.

After trying to bring an itchy, raised birthmark to the attention of doctors for years, Wolf was finally diagnosed with metastatic melanoma while she was pregnant with Lucas. The cancer has spread to her lungs, her liver, around her kidneys and to her bones, which have become weak.

Despite the years of gruelling treatment, Wolf has always had a positive outlook even while toting the vacuum pump that kept her leg sores clean, said her friend Sarah Scorey.

“They cut out something like 27 tumours out of her legs so deep that the wounds can never be closed and she just looks at the positive, like, ‘I’m so glad the vacuum pump I have to carry around is portable.’ ”

Scorey, who set up the fundraising webpage, is pleased it reached her goal of $20,000. The money will go toward any expenses and providing for Lucas’s future.

smcculloch@timescolonist.com

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Comment by Jim Anderson, Victoria


Comment by Dr. Julian A. Hancock FRCP (C) Dermatology