GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Picture riding to Canada with a man who’s on a mission to make it to the Oval Office.
“I got to sit next to him,” Cyrus Lockwood, 7, said.
He was talking about Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The senator’s campaign took the boy, his family and other diabetic Michigan residents across the border for cheaper insulin.
“He was very nice and popular,” Cyrus said of Sanders, who’s hoping to win the Democratic presidential nomination and whose main platform issue is health care. Sanders was in Michigan this week for a debate hosted by CNN.
Target 8 first introduced West Michigan to the Lockwood family, of Gowen, earlier this year. Cyrus and two of his siblings (Brady, 12, and Joci, 16) have Type I diabetes.
“It hurts and it’s not fun,” Cyrus said.
His mom said what really stings is having to make numerous trips to Canada because she can’t afford to buy insulin for three of her kids in America.
“It was encouraging to know we’re not alone, but also sad to know we’re in this situation in the United States,” Rachael Lockwood said.
Lockwood said her insurance stopped covering the kind of insulin her kids normally use. She said switching to different types of insulin is hard on their bodies, so she heads to Canada to keep them comfortable.
“What we recently bought was long-acting insulin that in the U.S. costs me about $620, and we paid just over $100 per box on our most recent trip (to Canada),” Lockwood said.
The Trump administration is working to ease that burden by finding ways for the country to import prescription drugs from other countries, like Canada. The hope is to give Americans some financial relief.
“Show me, show me,” Lockwood said. “There’s a lot of talk; there’s been a lot of talk about this.”
While the debate over health care continues on Capitol Hill, little Cyrus wants West Michigan to know his experience with treating diabetes isn’t easy.
“It’s more challenging,” he said.