High-profile Kiwis are lining up in a fight pitting medicine against hope.
Terminally ill TV builder John 'Cocksy' Cocks has revealed he's been drinking controversial water, Te Kiri Gold for the past three weeks after reading Sir Colin Meads' claims it gave him a "better quality life".
Last month the star of My House, My Castle and DIY Rescue, told the Herald on Sunday he had been given two years to live after being diagnosed with kidney cancer which has spread to his lungs and spine.
"When you are in my situation and people are relying on you still to be around you give everything a shot. I know it's not going to kill me, because something else is already killing me," he said from his Tairua home.
Herald on Sunday investigations have revealed Te Kiri Gold - touted a "game changer" for cancer by its creator - does not meet the Government's safe drinking guidelines. But Sir Colin and Cocksy say they will continue drinking the water.
Cocksy, 50, said he wasn't concerned by the high levels of salt and bleach in the water but admitted "it tastes like a swimming pool with 4-year-olds who have peed in it".
The solution can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea -- but Cocksy says the side effects from his treatment are the same.
"I've had radiation to knock back the tumours and that makes me seriously sick. The pill I take can make me really nauseous - sometimes I can't even walk - so what's the difference?"
Cocksy says he will complete the eight-week trial.
"I have nothing to lose."
Sir Colin will also continue drinking it, said his wife Lady Verna yesterday.
"Colin was really a sick man at the time he started drinking the magic water, but he put on weight, he was right down to 90 kilos after coming out of hospital and he was very pale," she said.
There are growing concerns about the health risks associated with Te Kiri Gold. Dr Nick Kim, from Massey University's school of public health, said: "If I had cancer I wouldn't take this product. I can't see any health benefit from swallowing solution with diluted bleach and a high concentration of salt."
The Herald on Sunday has learned patients from Te Rangimarie Hospice in New Plymouth have also started taking the solution - and doctors and nurses there have no issue with it.
A doctor who didn't want to be named said: "None of us have dissuaded a patient from taking it. It is their choice".
Te Kiri Gold producer Vernon Coxhead said his creation changes the molecular structure of the immune system so the water can penetrate to the bone, then to the cancer cells.
Medical experts cast doubt on those claims, but Coxhead still has a growing queue of customers.