Diagnosis stunned Napier councillor

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Re-elected Napier city councillor Faye White (left) and Napier Arts Club president Linda Cross, with artworks for the Think Pink auction and exhibition at Napier Arts Club. Photo / Warren Buckland
Re-elected Napier city councillor Faye White (left) and Napier Arts Club president Linda Cross, with artworks for the Think Pink auction and exhibition at Napier Arts Club. Photo / Warren Buckland

Napier city councillor Faye White has long been a supporter of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation Pink Ribbon Appeal - as she has been with the world of art.

For her, those two worlds have collided.

She has found herself to be the inspiration for a Napier Arts Club event being staged from tonight until Sunday in the wake of being diagnosed with lobular breast cancer in March.

The event is appropriately called Think Pink where the colour pink is used as the inspiration for all the exhibition's artworks and where a percentage of the sales proceeds will go to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation.

"I'm humbled by them doing this," Ms White said, but added if she could be an inspiration for all women to get themselves checked out then she would stand up and be counted.

Back in March she went along for a regular two-yearly mammogram, thinking nothing of it.

She went through the check-up and then the phone call came a few days later.

"I was asked to come back in to see them," she said. "I didn't think a lot of it."

She felt fine. She was fit, given her enjoyment of walking and cycling and going to the gym, but everything changed when she was sent to undergo a core biopsy.

"And I thought 'Oh ... here comes the diagnosis' and I sort of went into a shock mode."

Lobular breast cancer is a high-risk, but slow-growing, invasive form of the disease.

The trips to Auckland for specialist surgery and radiotherapy began.

"One day you're feeling how you've always felt and the next day everything has gone upside down."

It was not something she told many people as she wanted to get on with life and carry on with her commitments to the council, which she will continue to do.

She has recently completed the first of what will be regular six-monthly check-ups, and came through OK.

But she is very aware of what it all means.

"There is quite a strong chance of it re-occurring but I am just trying to keep my lifestyle as normal as it can be."

Her message to all women was: "You've just got to do it. Have the check-ups.

"Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among New Zealand women.

"One in nine will develop breast cancer at some stage of their lives."

With what has happened she is more than willing to again support the foundation through the art club's "pink" auction and exhibition which will open at 5.30 this evening at the art club's Vigor Brown St clubrooms by Mayor Bill Dalton.

It will be pink-themed with Clearview Estate providing, appropriately, its award-winning Black Reef Blush along with finger food.

There is a wide selection of artworks by local guest artists including Bari Duncan, Helen Dynes, Karen Johnston and Sue Schaare with the auction set to spark up at 6pm.

The exhibition will run until 4pm on Sunday, with entry at $3 a ticket.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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