Broadcaster and Breast Cancer Foundation NZ Ambassador Stacey Morrison is once again encouraging Northlanders to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast next month, to help raise urgently needed for breast cancer patients and research.
Last year 151 breakfasts were held in Northland, where more than 165 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
With more than 3300 women across New Zealand diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and more than 650 a year still dying, the need for support was greater than ever, Stacey said. The Covid-19 lockdown restrictions had made the situation even worse, with around 400 women who would have received a diagnosis missing out on mammograms or referrals from their GPs, delaying their ability to begin treatment.
Proceeds from Pink Ribbon Breakfast would go towards helping those women get the support they need, as well as those already undergoing treatment. They would also help to drive early detection and ground-breaking research to prevent further deaths.
Morrison, who lost her mum to breast cancer aged 45, said she was delighted to be the face of the Pink Ribbon Breakfast appeal for the second year in a row.
"I've been inspired by the resilience shown by so many as Covid-19 became another issue to deal with, on top of their cancer treatment. Breast cancer touches so many Kiwi families, and I feel for them, especially during this stressful time," she said.
"As we rally together as a nation, I'm also hoping we can show some love for people affected by this devastating disease. Hosting a Pink Ribbon Breakfast is a fun and easy way to let patients know they don't have to face breast cancer alone. It's a fantastic way to raise awareness about breast health and honour the ones who have survived or the ones we've lost, all while raising much-needed funds for this important cause, funds that are needed now more than ever."
Evangelia Henderson, chief executive of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, said breast cancer had not stopped for Covid-19, but it had had a huge impact on the foundation's work.
"Although Pink Ribbon Breakfast wasn't able to happen in May, like it usually does, we're thrilled to be bringing it back for July," she said.
"If the last few months have shown us anything, it's that there are many different ways we can still be together as a community. Pink Ribbon Breakfast is all about Kiwis coming together, in a way that works for them, for one cause, to bring us a step closer to our vision of zero deaths from breast cancer.
"Through all the upheaval, we are still making sure people get the best possible support during their treatment and recovery, spreading the word about the importance of early detection, and relentlessly pushing for scientific breakthroughs," she added.
"The money raised will go towards this life-saving work. So please get involved in whatever way you can – your support will make a real difference."
For more information, and/or to register to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast, go to www.pinkribbonbreakfast.co.nz