Tristyn Gretton - unfunded breastcancer treatment

$10,115 of $70,000 goal
Given by 74 generous donors in over a year

Tristyn is a loved friend and colleague. We would like to support her through raising funds for her unfunded medical treatment.


We need your support ....

Our loved and respected friend and colleague Tristyn Gretton (Social Worker at Mental Health & Addictions, London Street and The People’s Project) was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer 6 years ago and received treatment, and thought that the cancer had gone for good. However, 6 months ago Tristyn was diagnosed with secondary metastatic cancer, returning in her bones. Tristyn was able to begin the funded oral chemotherapy straight away however this is no longer working. Her oncologist, Ian Kennedy has recommended she begin taking two unfunded medications which are getting great results.

The drug costs $7300.00 per month for individuals to fund – a huge amount of money for whanau to raise.

We are supporting Tristyn and her Whanau. There will to be a number of fundraisers throughout the year and we would appreciate any support you may be able to give us.

Our first fundraiser will be Fergal Cantwell (affectionately known as ‘The Irish’) CNS from Mental Health & Addictions at London Street is dedicating his cycle ride on the 14 April 2018 the Moa Rotorua to Taupo - an amazing 100 km ride - to Tristyn.

Help us to raise one month’s treatment costs by supporting this ride!

This is the ‘Give a little’ page associated with this particular fundraiser.

Kristina Pedersen's involvement (page creator)

Tristyn is a loved and respected friend and colleague at the Waikato DHB with a young family. We would like to support her and her whanau through raising funds for her unfunded medical treatment.

Use of funds

Tristyn’s cancer treatment is unfunded and costs $7000 per month.

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From Unfunded cancer treatment gives woman better quality of life........  29 June 2018

Quality is the key for Tristyn​ Gretton, whose life is being cut short by an aggressive form of cancer.

There is no cure for the Cambridge woman's metastatic breast cancer. Spreading to her bones, it breaks down the structure of her body - her legs, her hips, her skull but her spine suffers most.

Gretton, 55, found a pea-sized lump under her armpit in 2011, which was quickly diagnosed as breast cancer.

"I can still remember the day," Gretton says. "Funnily enough, I was like: 'Right, okay, so what are we going to do?' not even really feeling the effects that I was going to die.

"I knew it was going to be a tough journey but I'm a bit of a cup half-full person, which is to my detriment sometimes, but I was like, let's get into this, let's get on with it."

It took over her life. Every waking moment seemed dedicated to fighting the illness.

She went through the rough patches. The breast reconstruction, the chemotherapy and the radiotherapy.

But as difficult as it was, it also opened a rewarding career for her - working with people with addiction to drugs and alcohol at the Waikato DHB and at Hamilton's The People's Project.

She battled the cancer for five years, and won.

"After five years, you are really considered as having no greater chance than anyone walking down the street of your breast cancer coming back. You're pretty much like anybody else. You should be fine."

Last year, though, while cycling at the Avantidrome, Gretton felt pain behind her shoulder. The cancer was back and unrelenting.

"I was feeling relatively unwell; sore on my bike. I got off my bike and I couldn't work out why everything had swapped over."

She motions with her hands - crossing them from side to side - the confusion she felt.

"I was like: Where am I? Which way is out?"

She returned to her doctor.

"I was sitting in the waiting room and [the GP] came walking down the hallway and I looked at her face," Gretton said. "She started crying."

Her only option now is two unfunded drugs - fulvestrant and palbociclib - which cost $7300 every four weeks.

"Not only has it increased my life span, it's reduced the pain. Quality? I can think at work. In fact, I think it has changed my life from when I was diagnosed."

With or without the medication, Gretton's prognosis is grim. Last year's diagnosis gave her two years, "if you're lucky", doctors told her.

The clock is ticking but friends are pulling out the stops.

In June, Livingstone Builders held a fundraiser at the Ngāruawāhia Golf Club raising $31,5000 - enough for 16 weeks of medication - and Harcourts Hamilton general manager Brian King, also a cancer survivor, is helping organise a fundraiser at the Cambridge Avantidrome on Saturday, June 30, at 7pm.

"At some stage my body is going to work out how to get around it. I guess our bodies are smarter than we think," Gretton said.

She spends as much of it as she can with her family - husband Errol Newlands, daughters Laura, 25, Elizabeth, 17, Isabel, 12, son-in-law Aaron and five-week-old grandson Isaac.

"If it doesn't get funded, if I still want to stay alive and it's still working, I've got to find that money each month and I must admit, when you've got that thought of not being here hanging over you every month, you look at things differently. You look at your kids ... I've just got a new grandson.

"I look at life differently. I spend a lot of time with family and friends. Relationships are really important."

To help Tristyn Gretton raise funds for her cancer treatment, donate to her Givealittle page.

Seats at the fundraiser cost $165 each or a table for 10 costs $1500. On Thursday afternoon, there were 10 seats left to sell. Email to attend.

- Stuff

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Latest donations

Jennie Kingma
Jennie Kingma on 05 Sep 2018
In remembrance of Carolyn Goile
ATC New Zealand
ATC New Zealand on 05 Sep 2018
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 31 Aug 2018
Keep up the fight Tristyn
Nicki on 24 Jul 2018
Wishing you all the very best Tristyn
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 22 Jul 2018

Who's involved?

Kristina Pedersen's avatar
Created by Kristina Pedersen
Tristyn Louise Gretton's avatar
Paying to a verified bank account of Tristyn Louise Gretton
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This campaign started on 29 Mar 2018 and ended on 30 Jun 2019.