'You can't put a price on someone's life': 30 year-old breast cancer survivor marches to demand Pharmac fund the drugs that saved her life

In the latest plea to Pharmac to fund cancer drugs, a 21,000-strong signature petition has been delivered to Parliament.

For some protesters, it's deeply personal.

The petition asks Pharmac to fund life-extending and quality of life drugs for lung, breast, and ovarian cancers.

Emma Crowley was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer when she was just 24-years-old. Thanks to life-saving drugs, she's still alive to tell her story.

Emma Crowley
Emma Crowley Photo credit: Newshub.

Crowley is now the deputy chair of Breast Cancer Aotearoa, and she says it's vital Pharmac fund the drugs that saved her life.

"I actually had some of the drugs we're asking for today," she told Newshub.

"That was six years ago - so I'm living proof."

Crowley discovered she had cancer while shaving her armpit in the shower.

"There was a golf-ball sized lump. So it was aggressive and it had already started spreading," she said.

She says the petition is not asking for anything radical.

"I think that everyone should have access to the drugs we need, and the petition is asking for what the rest of the OECD has. We're asking that our standard of care is lifted to the global standard of care," she told Newshub.

She believes, with the right drugs, terminal cancer could become closer to a chronic illness.

"I think advanced breast cancer has potential to become a chronic illness, not a terminal one. We've got many chronic illnesses out there which are managed properly with drugs and mean people can live a long and healthy life."

And when it comes to life-saving drugs, she says they're priceless.

"To my mind, an extra three to five years with your family, raising your young children. You shouldn't put a price on that. You can't put a price on someone's life."