Help Mike O'Connell
Help Mike to fight his battle against metastatic melanoma.Taranaki
A few months ago, we discovered that our Dad, Mike, has cancer. It’s a form of melanoma that has presented internally, not your average skin cancer, and with Dad more likely to be found in leathers on his Triumph than in shorts at the beach it is a cruel blow. Because of the way the cancer has spread, the best option for effective treatment is a targeted therapy that can shrink cancer cells and tumours and help people with melanoma live longer. It involves two types of medication (Vemurafenib + Cobimetinib) that help to slow or stop the growth and spread of the melanoma cells.
But, taking this treatment option comes with a hefty price tag of $52,000. The mega taxes our Dad has paid all his working life in New Zealand have come to mean very little when it comes to our health system supporting this toughest of fights. On top of this, our welfare system only provides a ‘supported living’ payment to those undergoing cancer treatment at home which amounts to less than the minimum wage and with Mum having to be a full-time carer it has all but wiped out their income.
Dad is our family treasure and we want him around for as long as we can get. Every moment we can have with him is a lifetime. He is known in the family as the baby whisperer, and is just getting to know his beautiful grandchildren. His sense of humour is always just under the surface, he doesn’t sweat the small stuff and he always finds a way to put our problems into a healthy perspective when we are down. Because he is so stoic, resilient and positive, we are optimistically looking ahead to his being with us as our lives take shape and the grandkids (present and future) he so adores take new life steps. We’d love to see him back playing golf, riding motorcycles with his mates, going fishing and satisfying his newly found travel bug with Mum.
Our Dad has given everything he has for his family, and there is no other option for us but to give him the best shot we can. But we’re up against what feels like an arbitrary and financially crippling charge for a treatment that is critical to keeping Dad around. We would be so grateful for any support you can give towards our Dad’s wellbeing and to help our incredible parents get through this tough time. It would truly mean the world to us.
Juliet O'Connell's involvement (page creator)
Mike is our darling father and we as his kids are wanting to try and help with the financial burden that comes with medical treatment that isn't publicly funded.
Dad is our taonga and we want him around for as long as we can get. He is known in the family as the baby whisperer, and is just getting to know his beautiful grandchildren. His sense of humour is always just under the surface, he doesn’t sweat the small stuff and he always finds a way to put our problems into a healthy perspective when we are down.
We’d love to see him back playing golf, riding motorcycles with his mates, going fishing and satisfying his newly found travel bug with Mum.
Use of funds
The money will be used to fund the medication (which could involve additional future costs) and his quality of life.
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This page was created on 23 May 2019 and closed on 18 May 2020.