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