Transcript: A Voice For Change: The Laura Hillier Story | Sep 20, 2018

Home videos roll.

An older woman holds a baby. Frances' voice says.

Frances says LAURA!
SAY HELLO TO GRANDMA.

Frances says GOOD GIRL. CLEVER GIRL, LAURA.

A woman says LAURA'S GETTING CLOSE TO HER
FIRST BIRTHDAY AND SHE LIKES
WALKING HOLDING HANDS.

A young Laura says THIS IS MY BABY SISTER, HEATHER.

First grader Laura says IT'S MY FIRST DAY IN GRADE ONE.

At around age 10, Laura says GOODBYE OLD HOUSE, WE LOVE YOU.

Frances says IT'S SEPTEMBER THE 4TH, 2007.
LAURA'S GOING INTO GRADE FIVE.

Now Laura lies on a hospital bed. She's bald.

A woman says IT IS DAY THREE OF ROUND FOUR.
OCTOBER 23RD—

A caption reads "IN 2011, Laura Hillier became cancer free after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia. In May 2015, Laura relapsed after being cancer free for four and a half years."

A newscaster says LAURA HILLIER HAD
THE ANSWER TO HER DREAMS:
A STEM CELL MATCH TO TREAT HER
LEUKEMIA,
YET SHE STILL DIED WAITING FOR
THAT TRANSPLANT.
CHRISTINA STEPHENS NOW ON HOW
LAURA'S DEATH
MAY FINALLY BE LEADING TO CHANGE
IN THE SYSTEM
THAT FAILED TO SAVE HER.

The caption changes to "Burlington, Ontario."

The caption changes to "Frances Hillier. Laura's mother."

Frances is in her fifties, with short wavy gray hair and wears a floral dress.

Frances says ON JUNE 5TH, WE WERE
CALLED IN TO SEE THEM
AND WE WERE TOLD SHE HAD
RELAPSED,
HER ACUTE MYELOID LEUKEMIA
WAS BACK.
BUT HAPPILY,
LAURA HAD A GREAT REMISSION.
THE NURSE PRACTITIONER AND
DR. WALKER TOLD US THAT
WE WOULD NOT BE GOING STRAIGHT
TO TRANSPLANT,
THAT WE WOULD HAVE ANOTHER ROUND
OF CHEMOTHERAPY.
WHAT I ENDED UP FINDING OUT FROM
THEM WAS THAT IT WAS
A CAPACITY ISSUE.

The caption changes to "Doctor Irwin Walker. Laura's hematologist."

Irwin is in his fifties, bald and clean-shaven and wears glasses and a blue and white striped shirt.

He says MEDICALLY SPEAKING, YOU REALLY
SHOULD BE DOING A TRANSPLANT
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Frances says THERE WERE 33 PEOPLE AHEAD OF
HER WAITING FOR A TRANSPLANT,
THAT WERE IN REMISSION
WITH A DONOR.
BUT I SAID,
"I'M GOING TO WRITE A LETTER."
AND HE SAID,
"IT PROBABLY WON'T HELP LAURA."
AND I SAID, "WELL, I HOPE IT'S
GOING TO HELP SOMEONE."

The caption changes to "Greg Hillier. Laura's father."

Greg is in his fifties, with short gray hair and a moustache. He wears a patterned gray shirt and black trousers.

He says LAURA HAD DECIDED THAT WE WERE
GOING TO BE A PART OF IT
AND RIGHTLY SO,
'CAUSE SHE FELT LIKE,
"THERE'S NO WAY I'VE HAD TO END
UP WHERE I'VE ENDED UP
AND NOT HAVE PEOPLE GET INTO A
BETTER POSITION.

Frances says AND AT THE TIME IT FELT LIKE
SUCH A BIG ISSUE THAT
I FELT LIKE WE HAD TO ALSO
MAKE IT PUBLIC.

The caption changes to "Kathy Yanchus. Burlington Post reporter."

Kathy is in her fifties, with long straight blond hair with bangs and wears black trousers and a floral black and white top.

shI KNEW THAT WE AS COMMUNITY
NEWSPAPER COULD ONLY DO
SO MUCH FOR THEM,
BUT THE STORY WAS HUGE,
I KNEW IT IMMEDIATELY WHEN I
SPOKE TO FRANCES
THAT IT WAS HUGE
AND THAT EVERY MEDIA OUTLET
WOULD PICK IT UP,
AND THEY DID.

A reporter says LAURA HILLIER.

Another reporter says LAURA HILLIER.

A third reporter says LAURA HILLIER THOUGHT SHE'D
BEATEN THE ODDS
WHEN SHE FOUND A STEM CELL
DONOR MATCH says JUST WEEKS AFTER DISCOVERING HER
LEUKEMIA HAD RETURNED.

Laura says THEY SAID SOME PEOPLE
RELAPSE IN THE WAIT
SO THEY GET CANCER AGAIN,
SOME PEOPLE DIE.
WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO BE SAVING
SO MANY LIVES
AND PEOPLE ARE ON THAT WAITING
LIST, DYING WAITING FOR A BED.
EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE A DONOR,
PEOPLE ARE DYING
AND I DON'T WANT TO BE ONE OF
THOSE PEOPLE
AND I DON'T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO
BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE,
AND THAT'S WHY WE'RE TRYING TO
GET THE WORD OUT THERE.

The caption changes to "Toronto, Ontario."

The caption changes to "Diana Zlomislic. Toronto Star Reporter."

Diana is in her thirties, with above the shoulder, straight blond hair in a side part. She wears glasses and a black sweater.

Diana says I KNEW THAT THERE WAS A VIDEO
BECAUSE JUST BEFORE
FRANCES AND GREG AND I MET,
FRANCES TOLD ME WHAT LAURA
HAD DONE,
THAT SHE-- SHE ASKED TO BE
RECORDED.

Laura weeps and says HELLO,
I'M LAURA HILLIER.
UNFORTUNATELY,
THERE WERE MANY DELAYS,
SOME THAT COULD HAVE BEEN
PREVENTED,
BUT BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE THAT
WE'VE HAD I WAS DELAYED
AND NOW I'M IN THE ICU WITH A
BLEEDING LUNG
AND I CAN'T BREATH AND
SOON I WILL BE...
A TUBE WILL BE STUCK DOWN MY
THROAT AGAIN.
HE SAID I MAY NOT WAKE UP BUT I
REALLY HOPE IT DO.
IF I DON'T, I HOPE THIS NEVER
HAPPENS TO ANYONE EVER AGAIN
AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT SEES
THAT THERE NEEDS TO BE FUNDING
FOR-- BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE DYING
WHEN YOU COULD SAVE THEM.
WE CAN SAVE THESE PEOPLE.
PLEASE HELP.
THANK YOU.

Frances says SHE WANTED TO GET CHANGE.
SO, ALTHOUGH WE WERE REALLY
PROUD OF HER,
IT WAS SO AGONISING TO WATCH IT.

Diana says I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY IT TAKES
THE DEATHS OF AMAZING,
WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
TO GET CHANGE THAT MADE SENSE,
THAT PEOPLE HAD BEEN CALLING
FOR DECADES.
I DON'T UNDERSTAND IT.

The caption changes to "After Laura began advocating the provincial government created a program to fund Canadian patients to receive stem cell transplants in the US."

A newspaper article appears with the headline "Ontario to spend 100 million dollars outsourcing life-saving transplants to U.S."

The caption changes to "Doctor Michael Sherar. President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario."

Michael is in his forties, balding and clean-shaven. He wears a pink shirt and a brown tie.

He says I THINK THAT LAURA'S STORY TELLS
YOU THAT ONE VOICE CAN
HAVE A TREMENDOUS IMPACT AND I
THINK IT DID.
AND I THINK THAT THAT PUBLIC
LIGHT ON THE ISSUE
WAS HELPFUL IN PUSHING ALL OF US
IN THE SYSTEM
TO WORK FASTER.
I THINK IT'S HAPPENED AS A
RESULT OF LAURA'S STORY.

Another newspaper article appears with the headline "New clinics in Toronto, London will speed stem cell transplants: health minister."

The caption changes to "Less than 4 months after Laura lost her battle, the province announced it would provide over 30 million to expand the clinical space at each of the transplant hospitals in Ontario."

Frances says I THINK ALL OF OUR LEGACIES ARE
REALLY THE PEOPLE'S LIVES
WE'VE AFFECTED AND I THINK FOR
SOMEONE 18 YEARS OLD,
SHE'S HAD A REMARKABLE IMPACT ON
SO MANY PEOPLE, IN-- IN SAVING
SOME LIVES.

The caption changes to "A new facility will be built at Sunnybrock Health Sciences dedicated to the treatment of people with blood cancers."

The caption changes to "A voice for change: The Laura Hillier Story."

Watch: A Voice For Change: The Laura Hillier Story