Mountain Home mother loses battle with cancer
Mountain Home parent Danni Gilbert lost her fight with cancer but won the battle to get Idaho Blue Cross to pay for her treatments. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Idaho On Your side has learned of the passing of 39 year old Danni Gilbert.
We first introduced you to Danni in July when we profiled her efforts to get Blue Cross of Idaho to cover cancer treatments that could prolong her life.
As her family mourns her loss, we remember her as someone who didn't know the words give up.
She had stage four colon cancer and knew she wouldn't be around for long, but Danni Gilbert fought for every minute.
"She didn't back down from it," says Danni's oncologist, Dan Zuckerman, "and she showed tremendous courage and fight through the whole process."
The best hope for this mother of two was a drug called Avastin, but Blue Cross of Idaho wouldn't cover it as a second line therapy saying it was experimental.
The Gilberts continued the therapy anyway, paying the full cost.
"This was going to put danni and her family on the hook for a lot of money, you know some of these cancer treatments are very expensive," says Zuckerman.
She continued her treatment regimen and her doctor says it likely added months to her life.
And in August, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network added Avastin to it's guidelines for second line treatment.
"At that time blue cross of idaho did cover and covered retroactively dani gilberts coverage for avastin, so she did recieve it and we did cover it because the standard of care had changed," says Karen Early, spokesman for Blue Cross of Idaho.
Danni's doctor says the stress over money didn't help, but he says she had the right attitude and a lesson for us all.
"The lesson is jut to enjoy every day. Go home and hug your kids and be nice to people because, you never know." says Zuckerman.
Danni's doctor says the future for cancer patients holds more disagreements and denials of care from insurance companies than doctors have ever seen before.