Former Prime Minister John Key spent a night at his multi-million dollar vacation home in Hawaii during a charity dinner to raise money for cancer treatment for Auckland Detective Sarah Cato.
Last night at the black draw event in the Trusts Arena in West Auckland, more than $ 40,000 was collected for the drug that Cato uses to treat her metastatic breast cancer.
The elegant event, attended by 400 people, had a string quartet, a band, a silent auction and a one-week stay at Key's Maui house.
The drug, Perjeta, for which the event collected money, when used in combination with another medicine, Herceptin, has proven that it reduces the risk of deterioration of the metastatic cancer.
Cato, a 35-year-old mother of one, is fighting the disease with the help of her wife, Keely, since her diagnosis four years ago.
She underwent a mastectomy, but shortly after, her doctors discovered that the disease had spread and was metastatic or incurable.
The years after have brought a debilitating course of chemotherapy, radiation and rounds of Herceptin.
Work on several high-profile criminal investigations has been interrupted by frequent journeys to the hospital, and Cato continues to juggle her treatment with full-time work.
In addition to being around for her wife, Keely, and daughter Emma, Cato says that serving her community gives her a purpose to keep fighting.
Perjeta was fully funded by Pharmac at the beginning of last year – but only for patients who had not previously been treated with Herceptin or chemotherapy.
"Because I was diagnosed four years earlier, I do not qualify for funding," Cato said.
"Last year, 160 of us were not eligible for funding."
Cato considers the treatment she described as "gnarly" as crucial for her to be in the neighborhood for Keely and Emma.
However, it comes with an all-powerful price tag.
A round of Perjeta is given every three weeks, at a price of $ 7,000.
Cato said they had been "very happy" with donations for the silent auction – including experiences such as departing for the Auckland harbor with members of Emirates & # 39; Team New Zealand.
The Herald reported the luxurious island house of Key in Maui in 2009, when it was bought for $ 5.6 million NZD.
"The 322 m² mansion has a mini bar and flat screen TV in the bedroom, three en-suite bathrooms, a Lani barbecue with grill and outside fridge, a private elevator, limestone floors, luxurious carpet and cherry cabinets , and comes with luxury furniture and artwork. "
Cato's Givealittle page can be found here and remains open for donations.