Jeanne Sather of Seattle knew that when she posted her advertisement - 'Adventurous female seeks Canadian husband. Baldness OK' - she would get some response. Most of it, she expected, would be from people who recognised that she was trying to make a point about her dire situation. Ms Sather, 52, has been battling cancer for nine years and figures at least one of her most serious problems could be solved by finding a Canadian spouse who could offer her a place in the country's universal health care coverage. 'I did it as a joke,' said Ms Sather, who lives two hours from the border and wanted a spouse in Vancouver so she could easily visit her two sons who are attending university. 'I really wasn't expecting to get responses and offers of marriage.' But within days of posting her advertisement on her blog, www.assertivepatient.com , she had men contacting her to pursue a relationship. She travelled to Vancouver a few weeks ago to meet one man. 'We will end up friends. Unfortunately the spark wasn't there,' she said. She is also in long-distance contact with another man, who lives on Vancouver Island. A female university student, who is not gay, offered to marry Ms Sather, noting that same-sex marriages are legal in Canada. 'I'm offering my hand in marriage if it will help you receive treatment without having to declare bankruptcy,' the student wrote to Ms Sather. While some responses have been positive, several people have criticised her campaign as an attempt to get a free ride on Canada's health-care system. Some have noted that in Canada, patients often head to the United States to get faster medical care from private clinics rather than wait on a list. For some procedures, like hip or knee replacements, patients can wait months. In Calgary, an oil-rich city in Canada's wealthiest province of Alberta, the government recently sent a pregnant woman to Montana to give birth to identical quadruplets amid a shortage of neonatal beds. The cost of the cross-border births was US$200,000, paid for by the provincial government. One Alberta resident sent Ms Sather a scathing e-mail saying she had paid no taxes into the system and should not expect to use the country's health care. But others have been supportive. Shawn Ankenmann, who lives in Manitoba province, said Canadians' response to Ms Sather's plight should be positive. 'We should open our hearts to all who need help,' said Mr Ankenmann, who has been thinking of men he could introduce to Ms Sather. Canadians were too eager to head to the US to shop for clothes, buy groceries and fill up their cars with fuel because it was cheaper than in Canada thanks to lower taxes, he said. 'Some of the Canadians who are complaining are the first to go down and take advantage of the cheaper taxes in the US,' Mr Ankenmann said. 'We should realise that we have something important and we should think about sharing it with others. Not everyone in the world has universal health care.' Ms Sather, who lived and worked in Japan for many years before returning to the US, says she never expected to be on the verge of bankruptcy because she got sick. She takes equity out of her house whenever she runs short of money. Her health insurance is US$800 a month, and she knows the longer she stays alive, the worse off she will be financially. It is a race, she said, to see what runs out first: her health, her money or her insurance. When first diagnosed, she was told she would live two to three years. Her treatment costs US$300,000 a year and her insurance will stop paying in three years. 'I was making a point at first. I don't want to lose my house and everything I have because I have cancer,' Ms Sather said. 'It has surprised me the number of people who have contacted me to say they understood the choices I've had to make and want to help if they can.'