A group of New Zealanders with advanced breast cancer have made a video plea in support of a campaign for an urgent increase in funding for new medicines.
‘I don’t deserve to have my life shortened’ – breast cancer sufferers plead for more government help
The video is part of the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s bid to get people to sign an online open letter to Health Minister Jonathan Colemen.
Coalition chair Libby Burgess says the campaign will be launched today – Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day – and will highlight the plight of women with advanced breast cancer.
She says New Zealanders are missing out on ground-breaking new medicines used widely overseas.
Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition chair Libby Burgess says the situation has become desperate for breast cancer sufferers.
"Medicines such as Kadcyla and Perjeta have had dramatic results in extending women’s lives," she said.
"They are funded in Australia, but they are not publicly-funded here. New Zealand women need and deserve these drugs too."
Auckland mother-of-three Kelleigh Burkett, who is among those in the video, moved to Australia for a period to participate in a clinical trial in order to get access to medicines not available in New Zealand.
"Thirty per cent of women with breast cancer have advanced breast cancer," she said.
"Surely, we’re worth the extra money to extend our lives to raise our families, to work. We can still contribute so much to the community."
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