Cancer patients are forking out hundreds of dollars for vitamin C infusions they say are providing quality of life - now they are calling for the treatment to be funded by Pharmac.
Hokianga woman Tanya Filia was given two months to live by doctors in 2015 after a brain tumour returned.
She puts her survival three years later down to a combination of vitamin C infusions, rongoa Māori healing practices, healthy food and living a positive lifestyle.
Fortnightly infusions cost $275 a dose for Filia at a private clinic and while she would like to have twice weekly treatments, she can't afford it.
A petition has been launched calling for Pharmac to make high-dose IV vitamin C an affordable option for terminally diagnosed people.
The online petition has gathered over 240 signatures and closes on December 10 before being presented to the House of Representatives.
"It's absolutely wrong when you're terminal and you are given no other options - why did my whānau have to scramble around looking for possibilities for me that would give me hope?
"I do everything holistically but I really do believe vitamin C does play an integral part in my wellness," Filia said.
Filia was only made aware of the treatment by former Whangarei policeman Anton Kuraia, who used vitamin C infusions during his battle with cancer. Kuraia died in 2017.
He Oranga Pumau - a documentary made by Jessie McVeagh - tells Filia's story and has been shown around the country.
"What saddens me, is when I go to a screening, and people ask me about what sorts of things I'm doing," she said.
"They ask who is a rongoa practitioner in my area, who is a vitamin C practitioner in my area, as soon as I mention the cost, that it's not subsidised, you can see the sadness in their eyes, and that is what the petition is about."
Filia also had to fork out over $4000 for a portacath to make the infusions easier, and find a surgeon willing to insert it privately.
Vitamin C researcher Professor Margreet Vissers said some types of cancer may respond better to the treatment than others but she is excited about the research.
"We are completing a study from Northland where a patient had a very remarkable response to vitamin C and in that particular case there's an explanation for why that was," Vissers said.
"It's very exciting because it's starting to make sense of what we are seeing and what patients are telling us."
Vissers research is looking into what role vitamin C can play in the treatment of cancer but said there is evidence it helps patients with their quality of life.
"Once we have enough information it could be another tool in the tool box against cancer."
Whangarei woman Alethea Nathan is living with lung cancer and has signed the petition.
Vitamin C infusions have "definitely helped in my quality of life, mitigating side effects [of other treatments] and gives me an energy boost".
"The cost is prohibitive for a lot of people - it's incredibly stressful, you're talking huge sums of money but you've lost the ability to work because of your illness.
"You're trying to keep in the best kind of state and it's horrible to have to think about where the money is going to come from."
A representative from Pharmac confirmed they would be in attendance at a screening of He Oranga Pumau at Parliament in June, however they did not show up.
Pharmac Director of Operations Lisa Williams said the organisation has not received a funding application for high-does intravenous vitamin C.
"We would welcome a funding application for high-dose intravenous vitamin C and would consider this as part of our usual process for funding applications," Williams said.
Sign the petition here and for more information visit He Oranga Pumau on Facebook.
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Thought I'd pull some stuff from the archives for those that have no idea what we are bleathering about.
The Allan Smith Story
And then this from America: If they ban it, you know it's probably good for you
PLEASE SIGN THIS WORTHY PETITION ~ this action will save lives.
Despite the skeptics Ive seen many people either outlive the cancer or at least live far longer than expected with a much higher quality of life due to using intravenous Vit C. I did this to help recover from massive rounds of radiation treatment, the after effects of which I didnt think I would survive. Honestly.
And its expensive, inevitably by the time people get around to trying it a lot of their resources have dried up. When in all reality if it were accepted and used as standard procedure in hospital the cost would go down dramatically.
BUT..the crux of the matter is you cant patent Vitamin C so the big pharma companies cant make a killing off it. Instead they literally ARE slowly killing people which is far more profitable at this time.
Please sign this folks..you never know when its gonna hit someone close and you will be in desperate need.