Krystal’s Life Matters
Krystal needs to buy life through breast cancer drugs Ibrance and Fulvestrant which cost a little over $7,000 a month.Auckland
Krystal is 36, dear wife to Ofa and a loving Mum to Satu (5) and Lola (3).
Krystal was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), a rare and aggressive form of Breast Cancer just over two years ago. The news came as an unexpected shock, however she resiliently relocated to New Zealand from her home island of Niue along with her small family to receive treatment.
Unfortunately, since then the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes, skin, femur, pelvis and spine. Last year she underwent a double mastectomy (removal of both breasts). This year on her birthday she received a total hip replacement that sadly left her with one leg 2.5cm longer than the other. Krystal now has Stage 4, Terminal Metastatic Breast Cancer which is incurable.
The best hope of Krystal having more time to be with her family is a drug called Ibrance (Palbociclib) which needs to be taken with Fulvestrant (aromatase inhibitor) but unfortunately both drugs are not funded here in New Zealand. Ibrance is immensely expensive, costing almost $6,000 and Fulvestrant at $1100 per month but it brings with it the chance for Krystal to slow the cancer and prolong the time she has to live and be with her family.
Krystal resides in the South Auckland suburb of Weymouth with her sister and her family. She only relies on one income and is a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Along with her family, friends and her faith, Krystal has shown incredible strength in enduring well, especially for the sake of her young children.
Alongside other metastatic cancer patients who are part of Metavivors, Krystal was recently featured on the front page of The New Zealand Herald. She shared how her love for her children has kept her fire burning - "For them to hopefully one day understand how much I tried. And how much of a fight I put up to be here for them."
The Metavivors marched to deliver a 32,000-signature petition to Parliament to fund Ibrance and Kadcyla on Tuesday 16th October 2018. The health risks that such a feat would have on Krystal's health and well-being, especially travelling all the way to Wellington, were greatly outweighed by her passion to contribute a Pacific voice to the cause.
Krystal strongly feels the need to contribute the Pacific perspective to help change the future of cancer patients, especially those who are of Pacific descent. Although Pacific women have a lower breast cancer incidence compared to other ethnic groups in New Zealand, they are at increased risk of breast cancer-specific mortality (Brown et al., 2017).
The day before the march her oncologist told her that the chemo drug (Capecitabine) she has been on since April 2018 had stopped working because the cancer is steadily spreading and her tumor markers continues to climb. Ideally, she should try the Ibrance and Fulvestrant but the costs are out of reach.
In creating this page, we hope to support our Aunty through this time of hardship and raise as much as we can to help lighten the load she is carrying and give her more time with her young children. We greatly appreciate any contribution towards helping us keep Krystal with us for as long as possible and express our thanks to you all for the love and support.
Jadan Hekau's involvement (page creator)
My Aunty Krystal is my mother's youngest sister. She has been living with us since she was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer in 2016 and we all want to help her gain a chance at prolonging her life.
Use of funds
Any funds raised will be given directly to Krystal to help pay for her medication.
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This page was created on 17 Oct 2018 and closes on 17 Oct 2020.