Inglewood women Julie Gillespie and Jenny Bunn want to raise $50,000 to help people undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Taranaki.

The friends have launched the Chairs for Chemo project, to purchase special chairs to be used by patients during chemotherapy at the Taranaki Base Hospital.

The pair know the value of a good chair when it comes to cancer treatment, they have both spent many hours themselves sitting in the chemotherapy ward.

Friends for more than 30 years, they regularly caught up while both swimming at the same time, and last year both discovered they had cancer.

Advertisement

Julie says it was one of those chats after she was diagnosed with bowel cancer that led to Jenny getting herself checked and finding out she too had a form of cancer.

"So we have been friends through parenting and swimming, and last year found ourselves supporting each other and our families through cancer as well."

The two friends joined forces to help each other through their health journeys, and are joining forces again to help others fighting cancer.

"We want to give something back, by doing something meaningful," says Jenny.

"The cancer department at the hospital was so good with both of us, we wanted to thank them by helping in some way. So we talked with the TDHB Oncology Department to identify what was needed."

Raising money to purchase the specialist chairs was suggested, and the friends started planning, says Jenny.

Julie says the chairs aren't something you can just buy from a department store, and they don't come cheap.

"Each chair costs $8300 plus shipping from Germany where they are made. The chairs are specifically designed to make it easier for the hard working nurses to position patients for their treatment and to help keep people as comfortable as possible during the process."

Advertisement

Long lasting is an understatement. The current six chairs are 14 years old, and it is estimated they are used by 2300 people a year.

That means, says Julie, "About 32,000 bottoms have sat on them in those 14 years."

The Chairs for Chemo project states 'we all know somebody who knows somebody' regarding cancer, and Jenny and Julie are hoping people will consider donating towards the project to help some of those people, says Jenny.

"The new chairs will help make what is an uncomfy, hard journey, just a little bit easier and comfier for people in Taranaki: who are our friends, neighbours, colleagues and swimming pool buddies."

To find out more, or to donate. Visit the Givealittle page: www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/chairs-for-chemo-taranaki