Rugby friends are rallying around cancer-stricken former Canterbury Country wing Pita Sekilagi, who has been forced to return to Fiji for urgent chemotherapy treatment.
Sekilagi’s Oxford, North Canterbury and Canterbury Country teammate Ben Gorst has set up a Givealittle page to raise funds for a course of chemotherapy for the 26-year-old Canterbury sevens team prospect.
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Gorst – Sekilagi’s boss at Christchurch company Fahey Fence Hire – said his newly married friend had been diagnosed with cancer “which has aggressively spread into its second stage”.
With Sekilagi “not eligible for treatment in New Zealand”, Gorst took him home to Fiji late last week.
“Ideally, he should be treated immediately in New Zealand, but circumstances beyond our control have led to his current situation.
“Health care in Fiji is primitive and we have learned that the chemotherapy will take two weeks to arrive, meaning he will be three weeks behind where he should be for his treatment and leaving a cloud over his survival.
“Basic living costs in Fiji are expensive, as I learned when I accompanied him and his wife home to their small village in Lautoka.”