A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to help pay for a "miracle" drug that comes at an eye-watering price, but is keeping a Kiwi teenager alive.
The Givealittle page was established on Monday afternoon to help 17-year-old Bella Powell, a cystic fibrosis patient who was told at age 15 that she had just two years to live if her disease went untreated.
The fund is designed to help her afford access to a treatment called Trikafta, which comes at an astronomical cost of $469,000 per year.
On the Givealittle page, Powell's auntie Sarah MacDonald said the family was now "looking down all pathways to find more funding to keep Bella breathing".
"Until this drug is funded in New Zealand we face having to pay $470,000 per year," MacDonald wrote. "This is an unimaginable amount of money for anyone and is Bella's lifeline!"
In an interview with Newshub that aired on Sunday night, Powell described the drug as "more than a miracle".
Within hours of taking her first pill, the laboured breathing she'd become accustomed to had cleared, and other symptoms of her debilitating condition had eased. Just weeks prior, she had felt too weak to walk.
But Powell only has a three-month supply, paid for by medical researcher Sir Bob Elliott - a purchase that set him back about $100,000.
The drug is so expensive because it's owned by US company Vertex, and isn't subsidised by the New Zealand government's drug-buyer Pharmac.
On the Givealittle page's description, MacDonald said there are two parts to their campaign - one to assure Powell gets the treatment she needs, and the other to ensure other Kiwis with cystic fibrosis can access Trikafta in the future.
In an appearance on The AM Show on Monday morning, Powell called on the Government to subsidise Trikafta so the 500 New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis could access it without paying the huge price tag.
"I just hope that by making this public that people understand how important it is and if you have a drug like this - you're taking people out of that hospital system," she said.
The Givealittle page has raised more than $5900 for Powell's treatment in the two hours it's been live.