Breast Cancer Foundation NZ ambassador Stacey Morrison is encouraging Bay of Plenty folk to host a get-together in May to raise funds for Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.
Registrations are now open for Pink Ribbon Breakfast and the Breast Cancer Foundation hopes to top last year's total of more than 100 breakfasts in Bay of Plenty, where about 160 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
Proceeds from this year's Pink Ribbon Breakfasts will go towards innovative breast cancer research and patient support.
Morrison's connection with the cause is strong and personal: sadly, her mother Sue died of breast cancer aged just 45.
She said that when you experienced grief, it helped to do something proactive – which was why she became a BCFNZ ambassador. Fronting the Pink Ribbon Breakfast campaign was one more way Morrison could honour her mother's memory.
"Mum was very community-minded. She absolutely would have embraced Pink Ribbon Breakfast," Morrison said.
"I always love seeing the Pink Ribbon Breakfasts hosted by people all over New Zealand. It's a positive way to support the cause - to honour a strong survivor you know, or in memory of someone special."
Evangelia Henderson, chief executive at Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, said the funds raised would help support New Zealand research into many aspects of breast cancer, including vaccines and immunotherapies.
"We must push relentlessly for scientific breakthroughs. Without research there will be no progress," Henderson said.
Money raised would also help support patients by funding advice, counselling, physiotherapy, group exercise programmes and lymphoedema treatment.
"Breast cancer patients deserve all the support they can get while enduring what can be gruelling treatment, and we are able to make a real difference in many patients' lives," Henderson said.
With more than 3300 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and 600 a year still dying, there was no let-up in the need for research and support.
"We are also funding a breast cancer national register which tracks patient treatment and outcomes. This register will help us compare patterns and trends across New Zealand, and against the rest of the world, to help identify areas for improvement," she said.
"We want Kiwi women to have the best possible treatment, and both research and support are a huge part of that," Henderson said.
"So, please, host a breakfast – your help will make a real difference."
For more information, or to register to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast, visit www.pinkribbonbreakfast.co.nz