A local woman will once again be putting on her running shoes to raise money for a cancer charity - one which aims to help give women confidence through their journey.

Through running in the Women's Half Marathon relay event this Sunday in Auckland, Reporoa's Sarah Martelli is hoping to raise $3000 for Look Good Feel Better.

At Look Good Feel Better classes the focus is on the problems associated with the visible side effects of cancer treatment including hair loss, eyebrows, eyelashes and other skin related issues.

Sarah was diagnosed with gestational trophoblastic disease - a rare gynaecological cancer, in 2016.


She needed six months of intense chemotherapy treatment.

"Now that I'm fit and strong I'm determined to give back and my mission is to inspire as many women as possible to be their fittest, strongest version of themselves."

Since being sick she has qualified as a personal trainer and now takes women's fitness classes out in Reporoa.

She also has a Facebook page - Strong Woman - to try and inspire people to get fit and healthy.

Sarah will be going to the Women's Half Marathon relay event with a large group of women who follow her Facebook page.

"I feel very grateful and humbled that I am able to run at all.

"I'm grateful these women are wanting to do it with me. We are all travelling up together to run, and to give back to a great cause."

Sarah attended Rotorua's latest Look Good Feel Better workshop on Wednesday.


"These women aren't able to run, so I'm running for them to raise money for this non-profit charity that needs our support."

She says she saw firsthand what a difference the charity makes to women's lives.

"I think when women lose their hair they sort of lose their sense of self. It just makes you feel pretty low, so this charity makes them feel good again and gives them confidence.

"It gives them the confidence to get through their cancer journey."

The workshop included teaching women how to put make-up on when you lose your eyebrows and eyelashes and showing them wigs.

Last year Sarah also ran in the Rotorua Half Marathon to raise money for the New Zealand Gynaecological Cancer Foundation.

Rotorua Look Good Feel Better volunteer Corinne Coppe says the charity is all over New Zealand and is so important.

"We look after ladies going through chemotherapy and radiation. It's so important for them to feel better and that's what we do.

"It gives them confidence. They feel low walking in here but feel great about themselves walking out."

She says it is volunteer-run, with many of the volunteer's workplaces allowing them to take the time off to run the workshops.

Corinne says it is wonderful Sarah is running to raise money for their cause.

Volunteer Frances Bates-Crisp says it is a fantastic thing to be involved in and she enjoys seeing the look on attendees' faces at the end.

To follow Sarah's journey head along to her Facebook page Strong Woman (#strongwomannz).

To donate go to womenshalfmarathon.everydayhero.com/nz/strong-woman.