A Mountain Home woman—wife, mother of two and high school teacher to hundreds of high schoolers—is expected to show up on the doorstep of the headquarters of Blue Cross of Idaho sometime today. She's a member of Idaho's largest insurance carrier, along with about 400,000 other Idahoans. But she says she's fighting for her life and she's expected to bring with her the signatures of 100,000 others who want to fight with her.
Danni Gilbert is battling stage 4 colorectal cancer that has made its way into her lungs and liver. Her doctor at St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute says he knows what to do: a bi-weekly cocktail of chemotherapy along with a drug called Avastin that is known to block cancerous tumors from grabbing much-needed blood cells. But Blue Cross of Idaho won't approve payment for the Avastin.
In this week's Boise Weekly, we gain precedent-setting access to Gilbert's medical records, go inside MSTI to talk with her oncologist, and even go face-to-face with officials from Blue Cross to talk about what everyone agrees is a heartbreaking story.