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Single mother with MS collecting cans to buy oxygen equipment not covered by Quebec insurance

A Quebec single mother with multiple sclerosis (MS) is collecting cans to save for an oxygen chamber -- a game changing piece of equipment which isn’t covered by RAMQ, Quebec’s health insurance board.

Stephanie Panneton has had MS for four years. She also developed trigeminal nerve neuralgia in 2019, a disease that causes severe headaches and daily seizures that can lead to loss of consciousness.

Regular medication and four surgeries later, Panneton is still not able to return to work as a nursing assistant. She has multiple siezures per day, which can sometimes last for 30 minutes.

“It makes a difference,” she said, standing among large bags containing hundreds of recyclable drink cans.

Each one can be cashed in for 10 or 20 cents. She’s saving up for a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which costs $30,000.

Panneton’s longtime friend, Melanie Lamarche, moved in to help out.

“It’s really hard to live like that,” said Melanie Lamarche, Panneton’s longtime friend. Lamarche decided to move in with her to help out.


She won’t need to rely exlusively on cans to pay for the machine. Her cousin, Marie-Pier Biron started an online fundraiser to pay for it. So far, she’s amassed upwards of $10,000, and like the recyclables, the donations keep piling up.

But Biron says Panneton’s biggest motivator isn’t the mask itself. It’s her five-year-old son, Luca.

“She is so present, even through her illness, for her son,” she said.

Stephanie Panneton, who has had MS for four years, poses with her son, Luca. Top Stories

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