Te Puna woman Jan Pendleton is among the many locals taking part in this year's Waipuna Hospice campaign.

To raise awareness and much-needed funds to support the services Waipuna Hospice provides in our community, a Super Hero Walk is planned for Sunday, March 31.

For participants, who are encouraged to dress up as superheroes on the day, it is a way to celebrate and acknowledge the heroes in their lives. They walk in remembrance of them.

Jan is taking part in the Super Hero Walk for her best friend and "soul sister", Helen Stein.

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Helen passed away last year on August 2 after a courageous battle with metastatic (Stage 4) breast cancer. She was just 49 years old. At first, Helen received respite care at Waipuna Hospice and later, she spent the last week of her life there.

"The staff were all amazing, and it gave her the rest that she needed, and the time to reflect on her life and what was happening. Her family and friends were made welcome, and got to spend some valuable precious time with her. I can't express enough thanks to all who cared for my friend," Jan says.

"Helen was, and still is, an inspiration to everyone. All through her illness, she was determined to beat the cancer. She changed her whole diet and lifestyle to try and get well again. Not one day did she complain, even on those days of intense pain and darkness. She did not give up.

Jan says Helen was beautiful both inside and out, and cared so much for everyone else, family and friends alike.

"Helen's husband had been very sick prior to this, but she worked so hard and supported him back to health. Her life was always on hold to care and support others. Totally selfless, totally loyal and caring, right to the day she passed away at Waipuna Hospice."

Jan and Helen worked at Avalon together for 10 years, and became close friends. Jan treasures many happy memories.

"A special time together was when I shouted her a ticket to see Ed Sheeran in Auckland.

Helen was at a very sick time of her cancer journey, but it didn't stop her coming.

"We had an amazing evening. We sang and danced, and I will always remember that night.
It was our last outing together."

Jan says life is so very special, and feels you have to make the most of each day, as time is limited.

"You don't know what lies ahead so cherish each day, love each other, and support each other just like Helen used to do. There was so much more she wanted to achieve in her life but just didn't get the chance.

"Helen's spirit lives on through her three children, grandson and granddaughter to be born soon, and through the support of her husband. Love you, my superhero Helen."

Jan says Helen was beautiful both inside and out, and cared so much for everyone else, family and friends alike.

"Helen's husband had been very sick prior to this, but she worked so hard and supported him back to health. Her life was always on hold to care and support others. Totally selfless, totally loyal and caring, right to the day she passed away at Waipuna Hospice."

Jan and Helen worked at Avalon together for 10 years, and became close friends. Jan treasures many happy memories.

"A special time together was when I shouted her a ticket to see Ed Sheeran in Auckland. Helen was at a very sick time of her cancer journey, but it didn't stop her coming.

"We had an amazing evening. We sang and danced, and I will always remember that night. It was our last outing together."

Jan says life is so very special, and feels you have to make the most of each day, as time is limited.

"You don't know what lies ahead so cherish each day, love each other, and support each other just like Helen used to do. There was so much more she wanted to achieve in her life but just didn't get the chance.

"Helen's spirit lives on through her three children, grandson and granddaughter to be born soon, and through the support of her husband. Love you, my superhero Helen."