TODAY |

Cancer sufferer says Pharmac announcement means 'hope that I can be around for my kids'

Mother-of-three Wiki Mulholland just wants to stick around for her whānau - and a newly funded breast cancer drug can help her do that. 

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Mum-of-three Wiki Mulholland was among those who campaigned for Ibrance to be funded after she was diagnosed 18 months ago. Source: 1 NEWS

When Ms Mulholland was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer 20 months ago, she said it came as an "absolute shock". 

It prompted her to become an avid campaigner, along with thousands of others battling the same illness, for public funding of life-saving drugs. 

It's been a tough time for the family but Pharmac's announcement to fund life-extending breast cancer drug Ibrance is a small victory for the campaigner. 

"The announcement for me means hope. Hope that I can be around for my kids," Ms Mulholland says. 

She believes the Pharmac funding of Ibrance will make a huge difference to many women as it takes away the worry of how they'll pay for their treatment. 

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Pharmac has announced it’ll fund Ibrance from April this year. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's a balancing act having a terminal illness. My family and children want to do anything for me to stay alive but as the person who's sick, there's guilt that goes with that when you know you're stealing opportunities from them with the cost of the money. That's been a hard burden to carry."

While the funding will go on to help many women suffering from breast cancer, there's been some sufferers who haven't been able to see the outcome of their campaigning. 

"There's about 220 women who have passed away since we started this campaign. The hardest thing is you're all in this together and you all want the same thing - you want time."

"The fact that so many of us put what precious time we have into fighting the system and fighting the Government told me a lot about the character of the women I was surrounded by."

While Parmac's decision is a step in the right direction, Ms Mulholland's husband, Michael Mulholland, wants to see more changes happen with the agency's funding allocations. But it's up to the Government, he says. 

"When all said and done, the problem doesn't lie with Pharmac. It lies with the Government. They're the one who make the laws and make the policies. All Pharmac is doing is implementing them and Pharmac can't fix itself - only the Government can."