Cancer advocate honoured

By John Maslin

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A Whanganui-educated woman has been recognised in the Queens' Birthday Honours.

Pru Etcheverry has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to people with leukaemia and blood cancer.

Ms Etcheverry was educated at Maxwell School and later Nga Tawa Diocesan School, and has been the Auckland-based chief executive officer of Leukaemia and Blood Cancer (LBC) New Zealand since 2003.

She has worked tirelessly to grow the organisation from a team of three part-time people to a mid-size not-for-profit organisation, generating a consolidated annual income in excess of $6 million.

Ms Etcheverry has been a strong advocate for patients to have the access to the best possible care and treatment and has been instrumental in ensuring a number of drugs receive funding in NZ.

She was instrumental in establishing the first Leukaemia and Blood Cancer Research Centre at the University of Auckland in 2014, as well as a support and well-being room at Auckland City Hospital the same year.

In her role she developed a number of significant income streams, which have included fundraising events such as Shave for a Cure, the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge, SkyCity Dining for a Difference, and the 100 Hole Golf Marrowthon. She leads by example and has completed Shave for a Cure and the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge.

Ms Etcheverry served as chairwoman of Cango, a national cancer NGO working group, and is chairwoman of the governance advisory group for the Auckland Regional Tissue Bank as well as the International Lymphoma Coalition.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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