The NZBCF is so proud of all the support we receive from around New Zealand. We're especially proud of those who go the extra mile for breast cancer by taking up a personal challenge and fundraising at the same time.
We hear new stories all the time and we just had to share some of those. Below are some of the success stories we've heard about recently. If you too would like to go the extra mile for breast cancer and sign up to Pink Ribbon Active please don't hesitate to contact email@example.com or call 0800 902 732.
I am currently living on the North Shore in Auckland and work for Jungle Coffee so I'm fuelled on espresso. My Mum (Lynne) and my best friend’s Mum were both diagnosed with breast cancer in February of this year which was 100% my inspiration to run the Adidas Auckland Half Marathon for NZBCF. Mum has now completed both Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy and has had nothing but positive results so far which is great although she still has a few more months on her Herceptin course. I am super proud of how brave she has been throughout her journey. Her positive outlook and determination has me convinced she will beat this!
I am by no means a proper runner but I did participate in my first ever Adidas Auckland Half Marathon last year and swore I wouldn't/couldn't do another but after seeing that I could run for a charity I thought I’d give it another go. Most importantly I needed a goal this year and knew this was the perfect way to achieve something special and get my fitness up to scratch. Time flew by and before I knew it I was pounding the pavement on race day with my friend Sophie (who was also running for the NZBCF). This year I really enjoyed the course but around the 17k mark I really started to struggle, that was until I saw my family on the side of the road cheering me on. After that I got back into the rhythm and concentrated on the finish line - those last few km's really wore me out but in the back of my mind I had to remind myself why I was putting myself through this.
My advice for fundraising - get vocal and tell everyone what you are up to! I was extremely lucky that when I told my friends, family and work mates they all spread the word for me as well. On that note I would love to thank everyone who helped me achieve my goal of $10,000 dollars, you are all amazing! I am still truly overwhelmed by everyone's support and contributions to my chosen charity. It just goes to show that 'every penny counts' and if you put your mind to it you can just about do anything. I can honestly say this is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been involved in - something I won't forget in a hurry that's for sure! Lastly a special thank you to Faye and the team at the NZBCF whose encouraging and informative emails, calls etc throughout the year were invaluable!
Lauren Parsons' Hot Whitu Chicks Walking Group
For quite I while I had had the idea to start a walking group, and in late 2012 decided to launch it early the following year to take advantage of great summer weather.
Having worked in the healthy and fitness industry since 2000 I understand the positive impacts of getting outdoors and getting active along with others. I wanted to offer an accessible way for women to have a fun, social way to improve their health and happiness all while building community and raising funds for a great cause.
What’s in a name?
Having grown up in Hokowhitu (a suburb of Palmerston North) the name Hot-Whitu Chicks came to me and I pictured a team of Hot-Whitu Chicks wearing Hot- Pink and raising money for Breast Cancer. Everyone I mentioned the idea to loved the sound of it, so the Hot-Whitu Chicks was launched on the 9th February 2013.
There were four main reasons I started the group
(1) to raise awareness of being breast aware, encouraging women to be vigilant about regular checks,
(2) to raise money for the breast cancer foundation,
(3) to get women in the community connected, to foster friendships and community among people and
(4) to encourage people to get active, get outdoors in the fresh air
We have achieved all of these goals with a real mixture of ladies of all ages coming along and enjoying our lovely scenic 5 km walk along the river and back past the lagoon. We stop for a cuppa afterwards at the local Community Centre which gives everyone a chance to really connect and chat.
With so many cancer survivors as well as those that have been affected by losing loved ones, its really great to knit together and support one another. We have lost family members which is where my personal connection comes in so I feel really privileged to be able to put money towards this cause as just a small step towards helping others.
Shelley Hodgson and Eden Green
We ran the Armstrong Motor Group Wellington Marathon on Sunday 24 June 2012. Being a mid-winter race, the Wellington marathon is plagued each year by bad weather – the kind that batters and breaks you – certainly not the type of conditions that you want to run 42 kilometres in.
After running a half marathon earlier in the year, we began to toy with the idea of a full one. The half marathon we completed in good time and without injury – but did we really think we were capable of a whole 42 kilometres? We didn’t consider ourselves athletes – or even seasoned runners – at that point. We doubt that we could have mustered the same degree of motivation had we taken the plunge solo. The marathon itself was the easy part. The long training runs, each weekend, every weekend, were testing. So it was a personal challenge that made us sign up in the end, picking up a hobby that might otherwise have died a slow, painful death, and turning it into something that would challenge us – both mentally and physically.
We raised $1,950 for the NZBCF, which was our chosen charity due to a close family member having recently suffered and thankfully overcome this illness. We emailed friends, family and colleagues to gain their support and without knowing it we tapped into other people affected by breast cancer, who in turn showed their support. We were overwhelmed with people’s generosity for our cause, in both monetary and moral support.
Our advice to other people thinking about working towards a similar goal is to combine a personal challenge and support network with a contribution to a wider cause. The satisfaction and sense of achievement we felt running across the finish line was like nothing else!
Deciding on my 28th birthday to do something positive for both my health and for charity, I started training for the 2012 Auckland Half marathon. My grandmother underwent a mastectomy and radiation therapy for advanced breast cancer the previous year at the age of 83, something that shocked and distressed the family but ultimately was successful and she remains very well.
Also this year, after being a radiographer for several years, I undertook my postgraduate mammography training in order to be accredited to perform BreastScreen examinations.
Training through the winter wasn't easy! Running three times a week on freezing cold Rotorua winter nights was no easy task, and I tended to do loops of the local streets in order to be a bit safer. Let me tell you this was often monotonous but often also rewarding and a good outlet from the hours of study and assignment writing I needed to compete as well as working full time.
Running the Auckland Half Marathon was the culmination of a years effort - the atmosphere was electric and despite the 5am start, the first 11km to the bridge was a breeze. I was aided and abetted by a lovely nurse I met along the way, whom I ran with to the bridge, taking my mind off the thoughts of "oh-my-god-I-am-going-to-die-my-legs-hurt-already-and-theres-still-17km-to-go" and other such nonsense. The next 10 km were a struggle, especially running along beside the marina where I really did consider stopping because my legs were on fire. 3km to go. Finally I made the finish line in a respectable time of 2 hours 15 mins and as evidenced by my finishing photo, I was shattered!
If I had one piece of advice it would be "be bold" when asking for money. 1 in 9 NZ women develop breast cancer in their lifetime and so most people are more than happy to give you a few coins. I was lucky enough to raise over $900 from friends, family and colleagues when my initial target was half that.