Joining a support group can help people fighting cancer feel less isolated, distressed, depressed and anxious, according to the Cancer Society.
Its Rotorua walking group seems to be doing just that.
Each Thursday morning the members meet at Sequoia Eatery, before walking for up to an hour in the Redwoods, and returning for morning tea.
Trevor Thompson has been coming for a month, after having brain surgery to remove a tumour in May.
"I didn't know anything about the Cancer Society until I had cancer, and this is the first group I've joined. It's a good social thing, you get a bit of exercise and you learn stuff. I am grateful ... and I'm just doing everything I can," he told the Rotorua Daily Post.
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Before his tumour was cut out, Thompson couldn't speak properly, and he couldn't do anything with one arm.
"I have been blown away by how I have come through after the surgery ... Now I'm healthy as. I have come out really well. It could have been so much worse."
"Now I've got a bit of time til they [the surgeons] look at me again. I will be on chemotherapy pills for another six months," he told the Rotorua Daily Post.
"You always hear about the Cancer Society, but I'd never really been interested until cancer happened to me. It's very good support. Cancer's pretty scary. It's a horrible thing to deal with."
Fellow walker Pat Thomas is also a new member of the support group.
She was diagnosed in April with myeloma - cancer of the plasma cells - and her treatment finishes in February.
"Mine is just an injection once a week. It's not invasive, and my meds are working. I am feeling better now than I did when I started. They haven't needed to up my dose, but if it stops working as well, the dose will go up."
Thomas read about the Thursday walking group in a Cancer Society newsletter.
"Each person goes at their own pace," she said.
"It is just really uplifting to be able to speak to people who have been through this and are out the other side. I shows me I can do that, too ... Also, it is great having supporters along; family and friends join in here, too."
Thomas said she had met a lot of new people in her short time in the group.
"One lady said to me, 'It's the weekends at home that get me depressed'. I said 'Please give me a ring and we will support each other'."
In Thomas' opinion, the weekly gathering "puts everything in perspective".
"And it's not the only thing that the Cancer Society has linked me up with. This week I also had a discounted massage through them. It was only $10 and it was just beautiful. I am going back next month."
Volunteer Philippa Sutcliffe, a cancer survivor herself, has been helping the walking group for two years and attending support meetings for nearly 10 years, after being diagnosed with metastatic melanoma.
"I see the need to keep walking for wellness. For me, it is a huge part of keeping cancer-free."
When she first connected with the group, there were only four to six walkers, but now between 13 and 16 show up each week.
"We do find that for people who might not talk about their cancer or loneliness elsewhere - it's easier here if they want to. But if you don't want to talk about it, that's fine. We don't always talk about cancer, it's also about having fun and living ... Anything goes here, but it's always private."
The Cancer Society's annual fundraiser, Daffodil Day, is on August 30.
Sutcliffe helps with collections most years.
"I have a girlfriend coming to sit with me for half a day this time, she is taking the day off work for it ... They [the society] need all the money they can get."
The two Rotorua friends will be among more than 1400 volunteers joining in the fundraising efforts.
• Those interested in volunteering for preparations and street appeal collections should visit the www.daffodilday.org.nz website.
• Donations can be made at www.daffodilday.org.nz, at any ANZ branch during this month, or during the street appeal on August 30.