Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Women with advanced breast cancer demand what they need

16 October 2018

Telling it like it is: Women with advanced breast cancer demand what they need from Parliament

“We’re going to die soon if you don’t give us the medicines we need.”

That’s the message women with advanced breast cancer are giving to politicians today when they march to Parliament to present two petitions calling for the funding of two important medicines. They are joined by their family, whānau, supporters, and support groups.

One of the petitions calls for Government funding of Ibrance (palbociclib) and has more than 30,000 signatures. The other petition is for Kadcyla (T-DM1) and has more than 2,300 signatures. Both medicines are equally important and hailed as game changers for women with advanced breast cancer that can extend lives for years.

“We desperately need medicines that will give us more years to live – more time with our loved-ones, to celebrate a 25th birthday or 50th wedding anniversary, to prepare our children for growing up without a mother. That’s something worth fighting for,” petition organiser Terre Nicholson says.

“We simply want the same chance at extra years to live as citizens of other OECD countries have. New Zealand has fallen way behind our counterparts in providing life extending drugs for the Metastatic Breast Cancer community. More years, more hugs, more love, more life – that’s worth fighting for!” Sue Wall-Cade, fellow petition organiser says.

Terre and Sue are part of a group known as Metavivors, people who have joined together to support each other through Facebook and friendship because of their shared journey with advanced breast cancer (also known as stage 4 or metastatic cancer). Metavivors come from all over New Zealand and many have travelled to Wellington for the march.

A member of the public commented that these drugs would only “buy about two more years” for people with advanced breast cancer. This made the Metavivors think about what more years of life would mean to them if these medicines were funded in New Zealand, as they are in most comparable countries, including Australia.

“We all have very important reasons to want extra time, Terre says. “In addition to having more time to spend with our families and make memories, extra time also means we're two years closer to a cure. With rapid advances in research, a cure (or something close to it) may only be a few years away. We want to be alive to see it. Our lives matter.”

On the following page you will find more poignant reasons the Metavivors want more years added to their lives.

What two more years alive means to me:

Women with advanced breast cancer describe what two more years means to them if the life-extending medicines they are seeking are funded by the Government. Here is what some of them have to say:

Emily Stein: My toddler might remember me.

Claudine Johnstone: My youngest is 3, almost 4. Two more years means taking her for her first day of school, hearing her learn to read. Two more years means her remembering me for herself, not remembering others’ retelling of who I am.

Nicola G: It means my daughter losing me as an 8-year-old, and able to cope a little bit better than as a 6-year-old. Friday was her school production. They are held every 2 years. So 2 years means that I will get to see the school production when she is 8 years old.

Paula Diane Neutze: I’ll see my boys turn 17 and 19. I would help my youngest cope with the stress of teenage life with ADHD and build resilience in my oldest who has the kindest nature and the softest heart.

Elisa Lavelle Wijohn: Not feeling guilty that I’m taking [money] from my whole wider family just to keep living and keep hoping. Celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with the love of my life. Seeing my eldest establish himself as a sailor, my middle finish high school and set out in the world, and be there to support my youngest starting high school.

Kerry Forhecz: Celebrating my 50th birthday, seeing my son graduate, and preparing my young daughter for coping with growing up without a mother and become a strong woman. Two more years creating family memories. Two more years to help educate people about early detection of cancer, coping with depression and self-harm, and helping ensure people get better access to life-prolonging drugs.

Nii Krystalh: It means my kids will be five and seven years old and will remember me with substances however little it may be, but hopefully enough to understand how much I tried to be here for them!

Mary Margaret Schuck: The past two years of self-funding my medications has meant I could mother my two eldest children through high school with all those questions about relationships and jobs and life to being more confident young adults. Two more years would get my youngest through high school as well and on his way.

Lesley Carroll: The years post-stage 4 diagnosis fly by and it’s frightening. Not knowing how much time you have with your family and knowing it is limited fills my thoughts. Two more years would give me more sleep-overs with my grandchildren, giving them hugs and cuddles.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels