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Cure for Millie

Closed Cause page created in the Health category by Amelia Smith

$39,120 donated
Given by 327 generous donors in one year

Miss a Merlot for Millie. How much would you pay to remain alive?

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Millie Smith is 37 years old. She is a sister, a daughter, a wife, a primary school teacher and she has terminal kidney cancer. It’s a rare cancer, and made rarer by Millie’s gender, the fact she has never smoked, and the fact she’s young and healthy. In November 2015, after a 5 year battle with this horrid disease, Millie was told she was terminal. Since then, there’s been surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and more hospital visits than Millie cares to think about.

When diagnosed with terminal cancer, Millie didn’t give up! She carried on teaching, and started to tick off her bucket list. She got fit and completed the challenging Coast to Coast race, and ran half marathons. Throughout chemo side effects, tumours being drained and multiple health complications, she’s been fighting for her life, fighting for the right to live her life as normal as possible. Giving up has never been an option.

2 years ago Pharmac approved an immunotherapy drug called Pembrolizumab, (Keytruda). Unfortunately Pharmac only agreed to fund this life-saving drug for all non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma. With latest case studies showing promising results with her own cancer, Millie applied for compassionate consideration, only to be rejected by Pharmac. But when there is hope you have to try so we need your help to fund it!

The treatment costs a lot. Approximately $80,000. That’s a lot of money. We need money, because money buys us Keytruda, and Keytruda is hope. Hope that Millie will live. Hope that she can continue to do what she loves, and teach. Hope that her and her husband can grow old together, share a lifetime of love.

So, here is what we need from you.

We challenge you.

Give up buying coffee for a week, and donate that $25 to Millie. For you, it starts your day, but for Millie, it starts the fight for her life.

Give up a bottle of wine a week, and donate that $50 to Millie. It might get you through the week, but that $50 might get Millie to get through to her next birthday.

Give up a dinner out, and donate $100 to Millie. You might have a good night out, but Millie wants the rest of her life.

It’s not much for you, $25. But for us, for Millie, it’s everything. Thank you for helping.

Follow Millie's story and other fundraising events on

Use of funds

Funding and administration of the drug Nivolumab. If Millie dies before the drug can be administrated or if we exceed our target then the money will be use for funeral costs, expenses and anything left over will be given to someone in a similar situation.

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Latest update

First dose  6 May 2018

Posted by: Amelia Smith

Thank you so much everyone for your contributions so far!! It’s been so incredibly humbling.

So Friday has my first dose of keytruda. It was a weird day. For so long I’ve shut myself off to thinking about a future. Only living in the present. But on Friday I had my first thought about what a future could be. What I could have. I suddenly realised that what was once my dreams could still happen if this drug works and so far I’ve had no side effects as well!!

Thank you again. Next dose is the end of May.

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Latest donations

Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 09 Jan 2019
Kim on 27 Aug 2018
What an inspiring story, good luck and i hope to read about all the amazing bucket list items you're ticking off when you're well again.
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 17 Jul 2018
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 13 Jul 2018
Dear Millie, Thank you for being such an inspiration to me and so many others. We've never met but I first heard your story via a Youtube recording of the Coast to Coast info night from last year. I too support the Coast to Coast finishers each year. I too found myself thinking "I'd like to do that one day". Hearing about your experience of realising that your "one day" is now was both sobering and humbling. I'm now signed up for the Mountain Run in 2019 with the aim of completing the 2 day event in 2020. I honestly don't think I'd have done this without the push of hearing about your experiences. I'm sure there will be times during training and the events themselves when I will be thinking of you and your inspirational life. There may even be times during the tougher parts of training when I may be slightly cursing you for inspiring me to take on something so tough! Thank you, internet stranger, for adding joy and inspiration to my own life. With love and best wishes, Bob
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 14 Jun 2018

Who's involved?

Amelia Smith's avatar
Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, Amelia Smith

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This page was created on 21 Apr 2018 and closed on 21 Apr 2019.
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