Volunteers for the Breast Cancer Foundation will hit the streets this morning to raise money for their Pink Ribbon appeal.

Pink buckets will be available at a number of sites across the Bay of Plenty today and tomorrow to raise funds for research, support and treatment for breast cancer sufferers.

Research shows more than 3300 Kiwis are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and about 600 people die from the illness. About 25 Kiwi men are diagnosed each year.

Around 90 Rotorua people are diagnosed with the illness each year, with nearly a quarter dying as a result.


Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand's chief executive Evangelia Henderson said Kiwis can give their support by simply dropping a gold coin into the pink buckets.

"Whether you're donating time or money, your gift will help us work towards our long-term vision of zero deaths from breast cancer," she said.

The foundation urged women to be "breast aware" from the age of 20, as research showed the earlier breast cancer was detected and treated, the better the outcome.

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To celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Tauranga woman and breast cancer survivor Emily Searle will be sharing her own experience with the illness at a special event in Rotorua this month.

Searle has created a project called Dear Boobs, which launched in Tauranga last year, that she will talk about at Rotorua Library on October 24.

At 37 years old, Searle faced a double mastectomy after five months of chemotherapy.

Emily Searle at the launch of her Dear Boobs project at the Tauranga Art Gallery last year. Photo / File
Emily Searle at the launch of her Dear Boobs project at the Tauranga Art Gallery last year. Photo / File

Searle wrote a letter titled Dear Boobs where she shared her experiences and emotions through that gruelling times.


"I felt compelled to offer something of value in return to the community that had helped me keep my head above water, and I also wanted to encourage and inspire those women who were just beginning this overwhelming passage," she said.

Searle invited others in a similar situation to also write their own stories, in the form of letters to their boobs. The book resulting from this project is a compilation of some of those letters.

Her aim is to donate 1000 copies of the Dear Boobs book to waiting rooms, libraries and cancer organisations throughout the country.

Tickets cost $5 and all proceeds go towards the project. Tickets can be bought at the library or through the website www.rotorualibrary.govt.nz. The event begins at 6.30pm.