Generous gift boosts mum’s cancer fund
Secret donor propels terminally ill woman near to last treatment hope
A mum fighting breast cancer was stunned by a $ 50,000 donation towards her last hope of treatment from an anonymous Auckland woman.
“I was numb for days that someone could donate that amount of money,” Tauranga’s Tracey Pay told the Bay of Plenty Times.
A Givealittle page started by Pay’s friends received the stunning injection of cash via a lawyer. Suddenly her fundraising goal of $ 100,000 for a course of an unfunded cancer drug looked achievable.
“It gave me hope. I said, ‘ yes, we can do this’.”
Pay, a single mum with t wo talented young sons, was on the verge of running out of Pharmac- funded treatment options for cancer that began in the breast and spread to other parts of her body.
Now she has less than $ 10,000 left to raise in order to afford a 10- month course of the drug Kadcyla, which combines chemotherapy with Herceptin to offer two chances of killing cancer cells.
The $ 50,000 donation came days after her story was told by the Bay of Plenty Times and the New Zealand Herald.
Since then, fundraising efforts by Tauranga friends and family and friends in her former English hometown of Bodmin have boosted the amount to more than $ 90,000.
“I can’t believe the generosity of people — there are such lovely people out there.”
Pay said she had incurable cancer and the current treatment was just keeping her going.
“People think I look well but I hide a lot of it.”
The 48- year- old said all the harsh chemotherapy treatments had failed to slow the advance of the cancer into the sternum, pectoral muscle and lung.
Her current free Gemcitibine treatment was about giving her a quality of life rather than quantity, and she was fervently hoping that her next threemonth check next week would return another “stable” result.
It meant Pay could postpone the day when she had to start pinning her hopes on Kadcyla, the treatment option recommended by her oncologist.
Her dearest wish is to continue to be the number one fan of her sons Charlie and George who play in school and rep hockey teams. Rain or shine, she is always on the sidelines.
Pay said once she completed 10 four- week courses of Kadcyla, future prescriptions were free.
The hitch was that she would still have to find an additional $ 3000 for each monthly infusion of the drug in a private hospital. Pay said she intended to fight to get the infusions done free in a public hospital.
People in her former English hometown organised a charity auction in a local pub and raised $ 31,000 for her treatment. Friends and family in Bodmin were hoping to eventually raise $ 38,500.
Six Kiwi friends had so far raised just over $ 10,000, led by a quiz and silent auction night. Corporate sponsorship of tables and donated prizes made it a very successful event.
Pay was supporting the petition by Metavivors, a Facebook support group of women whose breast cancers had metastasised into other parts of their bodies.
They are campaigning for the Government to start funding Kadcyla and other unfunded cancer drugs.