Claudine Johnstone, a former Port Chalmers woman whose breast cancer treatment became the subject of parliamentary debate, has died.
Unable to afford $6000 a month to receive the drug, Kadcyla, Johnstone and her family moved to Australia last year as the medicine was available free there.
"I feel like the message we got from Labour was that I should just go off in a corner and quietly die and not say anything because I'll tarnish their reputation," the mother of five told the AM Show last year.
"I'm not going to go off quietly and die: I'm going to fight for me and others."
Johnstone's case was cited by campaigners who had petitioned Parliament for Pharmac to expand the range of cancer drugs it funded.
It was also raised by Dunedin National list MP Michael Woodhouse, sparking a major row when New Zealand First MP Shane Jones — a cancer survivor — accused Woodhouse of using the case in a "grubby political manner".
Johnstone died on August 18.
Husband Stuart Johnstone said while the family only spent a small amount of time in Australia, it was a precious time for them all.
I'm not going to go off quietly and die: I'm going to fight for me and others.
"Claudine was never made to feel that Australia put a dollar figure on her life," he said.
"Australia funding Kadcyla gave Claudine so much. She lived long enough to experience another Christmas, another birthday for her and each of our children."
Johnstone had wanted to live long enough to vote in the upcoming election, her husband said.
"For the first time she did not know who to vote for, as none of the political parties have a health policy that would review Pharmac or lift the funding of modern medicines to a level that would allow people to stop considering Australia as the country to move to."
Johnstone's funeral was held yesterday.