Blair Vining, who captured the hearts of New Zealanders with battle for better cancer care, dies

Source: 1News

Southland cancer care reform campaigner Blair Vining has died, aged 39.

Blair Vining

Mr Vining attracted nationwide admiration for his upbeat and pragmatic attitude following his diagnosis of terminal bowel cancer in 2018 , after he spent his final months petitioning the Government for improved cancer care.

He was spurred into action after being told he needed to wait eight weeks for an "urgent" appointment with an oncologist after his diagnosis.

His efforts included organising a petition carrying 140,000 signatures to be delivered to Parliament, which contributed to the decision to establish a national Cancer Action Plan in late August.

Mr Vining had also begun working on organising a community charity hospital in Invercargill , to be focused on improving the region's poor bowel cancer screening rates.

News of Mr Vining's death was confirmed on the Facebook page, Blair Vining's Epic Journey.

Mr Vining is survived by his wife Melissa and two children.

"Blair’s wife Melissa and their two daughters, Della-May and Lilly, will miss him immensely," the post reads.

"They are exceptionally proud that the man they will continue to love forever left the world a better place."