LAS VEGAS – If you’ve ever had a package stolen from your front porch, you know how frustrating it is. But what if that package contained chemotherapy vital to keeping you healthy and would cost more than a luxury car to replace?
Gage Haynes, 14, takes eight of these pills every day. It’s called RYDAPT. “I have systemic mastocytosis. It’s a rare form of cancer and it’s just been happening my whole life, so I’m used to it. Now, we’ve finally found a way to help it. My whole life there’s really been nothing,” Haynes told KLAS.
Haynes was diagnosed with systemic mastocytosis when he was 6 months old. Since then, he has been in and out of the hospital. “I always tell him that this is our journey. We are on this road for a reason,” said his mother, Stacey Shavinsky.
Every day is a constant battle, but one recently was worse than average. A man with an orange in one hand and a soda can in the other nonchalantly stole two packages from Shavinsky’s front door. It was Haynes’ chemotherapy. Within four minutes, it was gone. It was a box that came with a hefty price tag.
“Once I realized that it was my son’s medication, then I got upset,” said Shavinsky. “I worked really hard to try and get him that. I did some financial assistance because the medication costs $40,000 a month because it’s not FDA approved for anybody under the age of 18.”
Shavinsky says her family doesn’t want the attention. They just want back what’s rightfully theirs. “You’re not just taking a pair of pants or a shirt, you’re taking something that’s keeping someone alive,” said Shavinsky.
“It really helps me out a lot,” said Hayes. “I would feel a lot better, so I can go to school, get good grades, get a good job, so just please return it.”
Shavinsky is working with the pharmaceutical company to try to get some help.