ex-Blue Tongue animator fights against restriction of life-saving medicine

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AIE lecturer and former Blue Tongue animator, Kate Inabinet, will be facing some serious life threatening challenges if restrictions on certain forms of medication goes ahead. Kate is a mother and cancer survivor. After the removal of her thyroid, she was subscribed Levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid replacement hormone. Levothyroxine caused her disastrous symptoms and considerable pain as her body reacted adversely by producing thyroid antibodies...

(Kate) By the eighth week every last available part of my body was killing me. The pain across my chest was restricting my breathing, and it even hurt to go to the toilet. My head was spinning constantly and every time I stood up I got so dizzy I fell over. My vision was blurry and my aching muscles had progressed to constant stabbing pain. I could barely bend my back and I was still throwing up on a regular basis from the migraines. My menstrual cycle went haywire. I could get no relief from any of the pain and I no longer even had the energy to cry. I couldn’t even shower because the pain of the water hitting me was too much. I honestly wanted to die.

I have never believed in suicide as a way out, but during this time I considered it on a daily basis. The only thing holding me back was the thought that my son would have to live with that knowledge for the rest of his life. Still, I took comfort in the fact that I couldn’t be far off from dying anyway.

Doctors and consultants weren't able to help her, apart from subscribing higher doses of Levothyroxine and even anti-depresents. Fortunately, it was the discovery of 'Armour', originally the only subscribed form of thyroid replacement, which returned Kate from clinging on to life to a comfortable and functioning state again.

The bad news is that the Therapeutic Goods Administration has decided not to approve and therefore restrict bio-identical hormones like Armour. The Endocrine Society of Australia (ESA), a national non-profit organisation of scientists and clinicians who conduct research and practice in the field of Endocrinology, have written a statement concerning their position against desiccated thyroid or thyroid extract solutions that help people like Kate. From their statement...

Desiccated thyroid or thyroid extract is not a pure product, not approved by the TGA, not available on the PBS, not produced by a pharmaceutical company, not subject to existing TGA regulations, has limited quality control, and is marketed as a “bioidentical hormone”, while “bioidentical” has been determined by the FDA in the USA as a marketing term.

Desiccated thyroid or thyroid extract is preferred by a minority of patients and doctors who claim better relief of some symptoms, such as fatigue and depression

ESA claims that there is no controlled clinical evidence for the success of treatments like Armour over synthetic solutions and are concerned that these successes are due to placebo or are an effect of overtreatment.

Now, this simply isn't a good reason to ban a life saving treatment that obviously works for a number of people, the result of which would pretty much mean handing them a death sentence.

Kate has created a petition as well as a document decribing her situation, and I urge you all to read her story here and sign her petition against restricting bio-identical hormones like Armour. Kate's been an extraordinary example of someone putting a face and person behind noble causes, in particular for women in games development, all in the sake of awareness and I hope you return the favour in helping push the number of signatures in this petition way past the 1000 mark..

My name is Kate. I am 38 years old. I live in Melbourne with my loving partner, 2 hilarious cats and my glorious little 3 year old boy who is my entire world. I have a family and friends whom I love, and who love me, and I’m not ready to leave any of them. Especially over something that is so easily remedied.

**Please help me raise awareness for my cause by signing my petition and send this message to everyone you know, asking them to do the same.

Thanks to IGDA Melbourne for letting us know of Kate's plight...