Claire McLintock knows she will eventually die of cancer.

But she wants the time she has to be both long and worth living - and she believes it will be thanks to a breast cancer drug recently introduced to New Zealand.

The drug Palbociclib is so new an application to Pharmac for funding has not been made and so McLintock, who is married to high-profile Auckland artist John Reynolds, must find about $6000 a month for the drug.

A silent auction will take place at The Tuning Fork, Spark Arena, on August 26 to help raise funds for McLintock's continued treatment.


On the block will be limited edition wines, luxury retreat weekends, designer jewellery and clothing, books and art works, with Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern master of ceremonies unless urgent political business interrupts.

Reynolds will auction some of his own art - he hasn't decided which pieces just yet - but said he was humbled by donations of works from many other artists including Chris Knox, Component, Adrian Hailwood, Sarah Hillary and a book of poems written by Colin McCahon for Rita Angus.

Other big name items include clothing and accessories by Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Deadly Ponies and Lonely.

McLintock, 51, has been on Palbociclib since travelling to The Royal Marsden Hospital in London in May.

She had just been told the cancer she was diagnosed with 14 years ago - for which she underwent a single mastectomy, chemotherapy and five years of taking the drug tamoxifen - was back.

She has hormone receptor positive secondary breast cancer and it has spread to the inside of her stomach.

Some of John Reynolds' art will be sold to help fund his wife Claire McLintock's treatment. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Some of John Reynolds' art will be sold to help fund his wife Claire McLintock's treatment. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

McLintock is a haematologist and obstetrics physician and had heard about the new drug. With the support of her New Zealand oncologist, she met with oncology specialists in London.

Trials had shown women who took the drug along with existing standard issue drugs had their disease under control for 40 per cent longer, McLintock said.


"When we heard about it and the improvements, why would I not do it?"

UK oncologists were positive and McLintock left the country with a supply of the drugs.

"They said if money was no object they would recommend this drug along with the standard care [Pharmac-funded anti-hormone therapy]."

Biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer received approval to distribute Palbociclib in New Zealand on June 29.

A spokesman for the company would not comment on whether they will apply to Pharmac for funding.

McLintock said the drug was only suitable for those with a certain type of breast cancer, but she was confident an application for Pharmac funding would be made, based on the success of the trials.

Extending the time her cancer was controlled meant debilitating treatment, such as chemotherapy, was avoided.

Life could continue as normal - in her case as a working doctor, friend, wife, and mum to 17-year-old Vita and Hart, 21.

"When you are someone like me, who has got secondary cancer, you know that eventually cancer is going to kill you.

"You want to have treatment that will keep you alive and allow you to continue to do the things that make you you. What we [those with advanced cancer] want to do is live our lives as us for as long as possible and hopefully with a treatment that isn't too bad."

The expensive treatment had been so far self-funded, with support from friends, including to plan the silent auction.

Their support had been humbling, McLintock said.

"The generosity of our friends is one of the gorgeous things that has happened to me ... it's not often in your life that something like this happens that makes you feel so loved by the community you live in."

• More information on the silent auction is available at