A breast cancer sufferer is joining forces with others to make a desperate video plea for better access to medicines.
Anna Southern, from Green Bay, features in the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s drive to get thousands to sign an open letter calling for more funding for medicines.
The campaign launched on October 13 – Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
Coalition chairwoman Libby Burgess says women with advanced breast cancer are missing out on new medicines which are being used widely overseas.
"They are paying the ultimate price with their lives," she says.
Some of the medicines include Kadcyla and Perjeta. These are used in Australia, but are not publicly funded in New Zealand. The open letter is directed to the health minister Jonathan Coleman, asking for an increase in funding for medicines.
"We need as many people as possible to support the thousands of amazingly strong and brave women with advanced breast cancer," Burgess says.
Southern is a single mum with a young son. She has been living with breast cancer for the past eight years. It is now diagnosed as incurable.
She says her health problems have also brought on financial struggles.
"I know that if there were drugs that came up that were suitable for my treatment then I just wouldn’t be able to go there, I just don’t see any way I would be able to fund it," Southern says.
Visit breastcancer.org.nz/meds to sign BCAC’s open letter to the health minister, calling for an increase in funding for medicines.
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