We need your support to help us to continue to deliver services to people with cancer and their whānau.
Your donation today will ensure Cancer Society can be alongside those affected by cancer across Otago and Southland.
From free specialist advice and support for cancer patients and transport to treatment to accommodation when undergoing treatment far from home – your support means so much to cancer patients and their families.
You’re also funding breakthrough cancer research and prevention programme to protect our future generations.
Kiwis facing cancer today need your support – donate now to show how much you care.
“The support from Cancer Society was invaluable.”
At just 27 years old, Jess Thompson has faced more trials than most. When she was 15, her mother passed away suddenly in a car accident, giving Jess a perspective on life that no 15-year-old should have.
In March last year, Jess was given another reminder of how precious life is when she ended up in hospital fighting for her own life.
"When I heard the word cancer… I just thought I was going to die."
“For months, I’d been getting terrible cramps, and I'd either have a lot of vomiting or diarrhoea, and then I'd be fine 48 hours later, but it was intense pain.”
"I was living alone, and one night I was in so much pain I thought I might pass out, so I called an ambulance. I needed four blood transfusions when I got to the hospital because I was severely anaemic. I had no idea.”
Jess's colon had formed a sizeable tumour, blocking food from getting through her intestine. She needed immediate surgery to remove the tumour and assess the damage. At that moment, she was a young woman living alone without family support. No one should have to face cancer alone – together, we can ensure that doesn't happen.
"No one in my family has had cancer. I had no idea what that meant, so initially, I thought my body was faulty… I just thought I was going to die.”
A cancer diagnosis is shocking and overwhelming, especially for someone as young and seemingly healthy as Jess. But the awful reality is that 1 in 3 New Zealanders will face cancer in their lifetime. We might not be able to control cancer yet, but with your help, we CAN make sure no one faces the journey alone.
“I managed to live a normal life until I started getting neuropathy which is tingling and numbness in your feet and hands. Breathing in cold air felt like chards of glass in my throat, so I didn't leave the house for the week of my infusion; I just stayed inside."
Going through chemotherapy, Jess didn’t have much support to lean on. For Jess, that’s where the Cancer Society team proved invaluable.
“I felt more alone than I’d ever felt before, especially without the family support that most have…
During chemo, the Cancer Society called every week to ensure I was coping. They listened and understood in a way I couldn't find in anyone around me."
The Cancer Society supports people like Jess in navigating their cancer journey and the health system. Our team offers a listening ear so patients can discuss their fears and concerns. They advise what to expect from the treatment and ensure that Jess and others have everything they need, including help with transport to and from treatment.
“It was just nice to have somebody there that understood what I was going through but was also able to be like a friend on the phone at the same time.”
None of this would be possible without you. We receive no government funding, so to keep providing these essential services, we need your continued support. We would be grateful if you would donate to ensure the Cancer Society can always be there for New Zealanders like Jess.
After two surgeries and numerous rounds of chemotherapy, Jess’s cancer is now in remission. It’s incredible news for the 27-year-old who can now start to focus on getting back to a new normal. “Getting the news that the scan was clear – I was over the moon!”
But the difficult cancer journey will impact her life for years. And with 72 New Zealanders diagnosed with cancer each day, so many people still need our help.
Your donation this Daffodil Day will ensure Kiwis receive vital support and allow us to continue life-changing cancer research, impacting future generations.
“The ongoing support from the Cancer Society and having somebody on the other end of the phone that I could call if I felt overwhelmed or scared was invaluable.
Having the Cancer Society there offering that support changes the experience and makes it so much easier, and they wouldn't be able to do that without donations.”
Thank you for your generous support. Your kindness towards those facing cancer is commendable.