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Support cancer care in the South Island

1 in 3 New Zealanders will face cancer in their lifetime.

A cancer journey is never easy; however, Kelly has faced more hurdles than many since she received her breast cancer diagnosis in May 2021. We’d like to tell you about Kelly’s journey and how the Cancer Society provided crucial support throughout her battle with cancer.

Kelly was living alone in her car when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It was really scary,” Kelly recalls, “there was so much going round in my head and so many things I was worried about, but I couldn’t really get it out in words, it all came out in tears.”

A cancer diagnosis can be of the toughest situations anyone faces in their lifetime.

But with your help, we can ensure no one has to face cancer alone.

Kelly was due to receive radiation therapy after her surgery. She travelled to Hamilton to receive the treatment, however upon arrival at the hospital was informed that there were no records of her being a patient or having been scheduled for radiation treatment. It was a significant blow to her recovery journey.

Kelly later discovered that she was one of the many victims of the Waikato District Health Board cyber-attacks. Her patient files, along with hundreds of others, had been held to ransom by hackers and she was unable to proceed with her radiation treatment.

Kelly battled with her recovery for three years before deciding to leave her life in Gisborne and move to Christchurch. She happened to drive past the Cancer Society sign in Papanui, Christchurch, and decided to pop in. She met with Sarah, one of the Cancer Navigators, and has been supported by her for the last six months. Sarah has been able to help Kelly continue her cancer journey with a more positive outlook.

“I felt a weight, this heavy blanket, just lift off me and I knew it was the right decision.

Sarah has attended post-surgery follow up appointments with Kelly, competed regular home visits with her, helped draft funding applications for a breast prosthesis, liaised with hospital staff about Kelly’s care, arranged further counselling, physio and nutritional appointments for Kelly and referred her to other local support groups.

Your generosity enables our highly experienced and caring cancer navigators to be out in the community providing much-needed practical and emotional support to people like Kelly when they need it most.

Thank you for your ongoing support, your kindness makes a huge difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.

Learn about these important updates in our Cancer Navigation Services, in our latest newsletter.

Meet Sarah, and watch a day in her life as a Cancer Navigator for the Cancer Society.

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