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Dec. 9, 2019 | Monday
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NOTL girl, 7, with diabetes petitions OHIP to cover cost of $4,000 glucose monitors

Seven-year-old Maya Webster plans to go to Queen’s Park to present a petition to have OHIP cover the cost of glucose monitors for people who have Type 1 diabetes.

Maya, who lives in Niagara on the Green, was diagnosed with diabetes at age two and has to wear a continuous glucose monitoring device, which is not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. The monitor is connected to Maya’s and her parents’ phones, and alerts them if Maya’s blood sugar levels are too low or too high.

Maya’s mother, Christi Webster, paid $4,000 for the device through her work benefits.

After Webster reached out to Wayne Gates, MPP for Niagara Falls, he and his staff joined Maya on July 24, going door-to-door in Niagara on the Green to collect signatures for the petition. Maya will also be outside Phil’s Valu-Mart in Virgil with the petition this Friday, Aug. 2, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“(Gates) is our voice for Ontario. We’re hoping he can be our voice at Queen’s Park and have some changes happen,” Webster said.

“We believe (the monitor) will pay for itself,” Gates told The Lake Report, explaining how, with the help of the device, hospital visits would be less frequent and would save taxpayers money.

Maya said the monitor has been “really helpful” and she is lucky to have it.

“I’m really hoping to get more signatures. Hopefully even while we’re there (at Queen’s Park) … so the government can pay for this stuff,” she said. 

Before she began using the monitor last October, Maya made frequent visits to the hospital and she would have her finger pricked at least 10 times a day for a blood sugar level test, her mother said.

“(The monitor) is more than an alarm. It’s literally saved her on countless occasions,” said Webster, adding without the device, “it can get dangerous and it can be fatal.”

Maya also has an insulin pump on her leg but it is already covered by the province.

She will be going to Queen’s Park in Toronto on Nov. 27 for a parliamentary breakfast. Gates will also be there to help Maya present her petition and to lobby the government.

The petition is not available online so anyone wishing to sign it is welcome to contact Webster.

“I’m so proud of her,” Webster said. “She’s a superhero, for sure. A very, very brave little girl.”

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