Breast cancer drug advocate Wiki Mulholland dies –


A woman who advocated for better access to cancer drugs and a way of extending the life of people with the disease has died.

Palmerston North’s Wiki Mulholland, a mother of three, died on Friday, aged 43.

Mulholland was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, the most advanced stage, in May, 2018. Since then she and her husband Malcolm have lobbied the Government to provide more funding for cancer drugs such as Ibrance and been vocal advocates for people living with cancer.

Malcolm Mulholland said Wiki was loved by so many people and everyone was devastated.

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Wiki Mulholland, left, and husband Malcolm Mulholland on a bus to deliver a petition to Parliament in May this year.

“Her passing was quite sudden and she was in relatively good health, but things took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago. We just thought we had more time.”

He said the cancer came back with a vengeance.

Malcolm Mulholland said when she was first diagnosed she was only supposed to live for 14 months, which showed how quickly Māori women could die from breast cancer.

But she lived for three and a half years after the diagnosis.


Families from the lower North Island affected by breast cancer march to Parliament with a petition pleading for Pharmac to fund key drugs. (First published October 2018)

After she was diagnosed with cancer she started calling for Ibrance, which cost about $5800 a month, to be funded by Pharmac because it was unfair some women did not have access to the drug.

In 2018 the Mulhollands led a group of more than 100 women and supporters to Parliament to deliver a petition, signed by more than 30,000 people, asking for Pharmac to fund treatments for advanced breast cancer like Ibrance and Kadcyla.

Pharmac announced last year it would fund Ibrance, which gave people more time and saved them vast sums of money.