We were delighted to hear that Kadcyla, a drug which will help 1,200 women a year in England, will now be routinely available on the NHS. Bonnie told her story as part of the Keep Kadcyla campaign, which pushed for this change. She tells us what this decision means to her and other women.
Kadcyla will be Bonnie's next treatment.
“I was absolutely thrilled to hear the news that Kadcyla will be routinely funded on the NHS. It’s such an enormous weight off my mind and I feel immensely reassured that my next line of treatment is in place and available for whenever I need to use it.
“This decision now means I can relax and spend my time – which is so precious – doing the things I love and with the people I love. I don’t have this additional anxiety hanging over me anymore.
“It’s not just what it means to me but to all the other women depending on it too and to all our families who desperately want us to be around as long as possible. This decision really does have the potential to have a huge impact on so many women's lives.”
More women have been joining Bonnie in sharing their stories with Breast Cancer Now:
Kadcyla will be Gill's next treatment option.
“Now that Kadcyla has been approved for routine NHS use, once my current treatment fails I no longer have to worry about taking extreme measures to access the drug. It’s a great weight off my mind and a relief for my husband. We can enjoy whatever time is left to me without having to worry about the future.
“I am very grateful to Breast Cancer Now for their petition – it felt great to be able to do something which may have affected the outcome.”
Mani has been taking Kadcyla but is currently taking a break from the drug.
“Kadcyla gave me a life back. Before Kadcyla, I was fighting for every day of my life and living in fear that any day soon it might all be over and my daughter would have to grow up without her mum. I felt exhausted, desperate and scared. What life I had, had to fit around the cancer.
“Now, the cancer is something that fits around my life. I look forward to life and am able to plan things more than a couple of weeks in advance. I no longer wake up with cancer being the first thought in my head. The fight is not over, but it has become a lot easier and not all consuming.
“I am also over the moon that other women who need this drug will now get it and their chances of living longer are hugely improved. Some of them will get the chance to see their young children grow up, just like I have.
“I was overwhelmed by the support for this campaign. It just shows how important and close to so many people's hearts this issue is. It also highlights how important it is to stand up for what you believe and never give up. I am very proud to have been part of the campaign.”
Julie has taken Kadcyla and is now exploring other treatment options.
“I was on Kadcyla for over three years. I wouldn't be here without this drug. It has kept my cancer, which has spread to my liver, lungs, bones and brain stable. I owe everything to this drug. As it has minimal side effects I have been able to really participate in the lives of my children. I have achieved things that I never ever thought were possible like climbing Ben Nevis. I have shouted out so many times about this drug and I am delighted that women coming after me can access this drug.
“I am no longer able to tolerate Kadcyla myself but it has given me time to enable exploration of other treatments which were not available three years ago.”
Bonnie has a message for all Breast Cancer Now supporters:
“I’m so immensely grateful to everyone who supported this campaign – who signed and shared the petition or emailed their MP. The petition and the number of people who signed it was specifically mentioned by NICE so it really did make a difference. It means the absolute world to finally have confirmation that this drug has been approved.”
And there have been some great responses on Twitter. See more of the conversation in our Twitter moment.
This is fantastic news. I know it works as I've recently been on kadcyla— Louise (@NKOTB_IBLY4EVA) June 15, 2017
Absolutely amazing news!!!!xxx— kerry rubins (@KerryRubins) June 15, 2017
Amazing news. Just shows what a collective effort from the public et al can do to change lives. Blooming brilliant #Kadcyla— FizzySnood (@fizzysnood) June 16, 2017
This is fantastic news...— rachael griffin (@raquelwench) June 15, 2017