More than 150 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Northland and people across the region are being urged to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast next month to help raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.
Registrations are now open for Pink Ribbon Breakfasts. Breast Cancer Foundation NZ ambassador Stacey Morrison is encouraging Northlanders to host a get-together in May.
"Come together with friends, family and workmates for a Pink Ribbon Breakfast," Morrison said.
May is Pink Ribbon Breakfast month to raise funds for Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.
Breast Cancer Foundation hopes to top last year's total of more than 80 breakfasts across Northland, including 60 in Whangārei and five each in Kaikohe and Kaitaia.
The Cancer Society said more than 150 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Northland.
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. Her mother Sue died of breast cancer aged just 45.
She said when you experience grief, it helps to do something proactive – which is why she became a BCFNZ ambassador and fronting the Pink Ribbon Breakfast campaign is one more way she can honour her mother's memory.
"Mum was very community-minded. She absolutely would have embraced Pink Ribbon Breakfast," she 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 will 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 will also help support patients by funding advice, counselling, physiotherapy, group exercise programmes and lymphoedema treatment.
With more than 3300 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and 600 a year still dying, there is 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," Henderson said.
For more information, or to register to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast, visit www.pinkribbonbreakfast.co.nz.