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

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>

 

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels