An emotional plea from a woman living with cancer in Nova Scotia daring the province’s premier to to tell her that there is no health care crisis has gone viral.
In a video that has racked up more than a million views and 0,000 shares, Inez Rudderham, who was diagnosed with cancer after two years of waiting to see a doctor, stares straight into the camera and fights tears as she dares Premier Stephen McNeil to sit down with her.
“I dare you to take a meeting with me and explain to me and to look in my eyes and tell me that there is no health care crisis in my province of Nova Scotia,” the 33-year-old mom said.
“I went undiagnosed with anal cancer for two years because I did not have access to a family doctor and when I went to the ERs I was brushed off,” she continued. “It’s OK though, right? Because they caught it. They caught it when it was Stage 3.”
Rudderham continued to list the ways in which the health care system has failed her and her family.
“Three ERs I went to before someone would listen to me,” she said through tears. “Thirty rounds - 30 rounds - of radiation to my pelvis which has left me barren and infertile. At 33 I am in menopause because when my tumour was a polyp I did not have access to a family doctor and the ERs wouldn’t help me.”
Since learning of her diagnosis, Rudderham reached out for mental health services in January only to be scheduled for an appointment months away.
“It is now the end of April and I receive my appointment for July. Mid-July,” she continued. “And you want to tell me that there’s no health care crisis in my province?”
“This is the face,” she said while pointing at herself. “This is the face of the health care crisis in Nova Scotia and I dare you you tell me otherwise.”
Her post has resonated with Canadians across the country, with many sending her well wishes and hopes that she gets a meeting with the premier.
“I hope you get the meeting you deserve withh Stephen McNeil,” wrote one user on Facebook. “He should be the one apologizing, not you! Most positive thoughts and love your way, keep fighting!
“I am so sorry that you have to go through this, it broke my heart to listen to you, our government official's should be ashamed, we have the same problem here in Newfoundland, my husband has a lot of health issues, and we have no family doctor, we had one but he left, and no one to replace him,” wrote a fellow Maritimer.
“I hope that Steven MacNeil has the decency to meet with you,” wrote another. “Well said on behalf of us Nova Scotians.”
Rudderham has posted about her frustrations with the province’s health care system in the past on Facebook.
“Cancer treatment stripped me of everything. It torn down everything I was and understood myself to be and now I’m left to figure out who this body, mind and spirit is that stands before me,” she wrote in a post asking for donations to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation.
“Cancer ripped my life apart. It damaged my partner, my daughter, my body, mind and soul,” she wrote. “Feeling is hard. Facing feelings is hard.”