Re­ly­ing on love and Her­ceptin

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Scott Morgan

Love for her fam­ily is what keeps breast can­cer pa­tient Melissa Mur­phy go­ing.

But it’s not easy for the New Wind­sor res­i­dent, who is hop­ing to fundraise $55,000 for the drug Her­ceptin, which is used in con­junc­tion with chemo­ther­apy to fight the dis­ease.

Gov­ern­ment fund­ing is avail­able for nine weeks of Her­ceptin treat­ment, al­though some stud­ies have shown a 12-month course is more ef­fec­tive.

The mother of four has al­ready used her nine weeks of gov­ern­ment funded treat­ment, but wants the full 12 month cy­cle to give her­self the best chance of re­cov­ery.

“I feel I need to be re­spon­si­ble and do what I can to see my kids grow up,” says Mrs Mur­phy.

She is tak­ing part in breast can­cer sup­port group Skip for Life’s fundraiser to­day.

Sup­port­ers of the group will skip from AUT to Aotea Square this af­ter­noon to raise aware­ness and money for women who can’t af­ford the drug.

The 44-year-old, who has so far raised $4000, says it’s won­der­ful the group ex­ists to help women in her po­si­tion.

Af­ter be­ing hos­pi­talised sev­eral times by side-ef­fects from her first two rounds of chemo­ther­apy, Mrs Mur­phy has had to rely on sup­port from her church, fam­ily and friends.

“It’s been re­ally tough go­ing.”

Thank­fully, the third round of chemo­ther­apy hasn’t been as se­vere, which has meant a re­turn to some form of nor­mal­ity for the fam­ily.

“In this cy­cle I feel re­ally well. I’ve only just been able to start cook­ing again,” she says.

Mrs Mur­phy still faces the bat­tle to find more money for the 12-month course of Her­ceptin, which she feels should be gov­ern­ment funded.

Skip for Life founder Jac­que­line Har­ri­son says she un­der­stands women in Mrs Mur­phy’s po­si­tion are do­ing it tough.

To help Melissa Mur­phy fundraise for her Her­ceptin treat­ment, visit her blog at http:// sup­port­melissa. blog spot.com.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Skip for Life visit www.skip­for­life.org.nz or phone 0900 4 HER 2 to do­nate $20.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Brave mum: Breast can­cer pa­tient Melissa Mur­phy with her chil­dren, clock­wise from bot­tom left: Shan­non, 11, Josiah, 4, Kim­berly, 6, and Gabrielle, 8.

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