Wiki was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer a few months after me. We went to the same book group. We didn’t attend together very often. I worked nights, mostly, and she traveled for work. And she was busy. Always busy.
She was busy because WIki changed breast cancer treatment for everyone in NZ.
Unluckily for WIki, pretty much right after diagnosis, she was recommended to start on Ibrance (Palbociclib). But Ibrance wasn’t funded in New Zealand.
Ibrance cost NZ$5800 a month.
On the New Zealand median salary, you’d have to work 6.5 weeks to buy one month of Ibrance.
So Wiki cashed in her retirement savings and bought herself some time.
And then she organized a march on Parliament, and a petition, and dedicated herself and her time and her family’s time to changing the way medications are funded in NZ. Dedicated herself to getting Ibrance and Kadcyla funded by PHARMAC. She didn’t only think of herself. She thought of everyone.
Wiki always thought of everyone else first.
In May 2020 PHARMAC started funding Ibrance for metastatic breast cancer patients. So this year, when Tamoxifen stopped working for me, Ibrance was an option.
I picked up my next month of Ibrance the same day Wiki died. That’s it in the photo there. See that cost? Five dollars. That’s $3.41 in US monies.
Wiki did that.
Wiki is the reason I get to be here right now.
When life is short some of us write gay ghost stories. But people like WIki change the world around her to make it better for everyone. To make it fairer.
Wiki was funny, and sweet, and even when she was tired and sick she radiated warmth, and joy, and love.
Rest easy, Wiki. I’ll catch you on the other side.