Mark Sales was told he had cancer in 2013 and reflects on the day that changed his life. Now 60 years old with one daughter and two grandchildren, he is lucky enough to tell his story.

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Daffodil Day – Cancer doesn’t stop, so we won’t either.

Since 1990, Daffodil Day has inspired people to come together and support the Cancer Society's work and raise awareness of cancer in New Zealand. Daffodil Day is the last Friday of August, and every dollar raised will go towards cancer care for patients and their whānau, education and awareness programmes, and life-saving cancer research.

"Every day, 71 New Zealanders will find out they have cancer. With the demand for the Cancer Society's services increasing, support is required more than ever. Daffodil Day symbolises hope and inspires communities to come together to support people living with cancer", says Rachael Hart, Chief Executive of the Cancer Society, Otago and Southland Division.

Mark Sales was told he had cancer in 2013 and reflects on the day that changed his life. Mark is now 60 years old with one daughter and two grandchildren and is lucky enough to tell his story. Mark was born in England but has lived in Invercargill for 50 years. Mark was diagnosed with Pseudomyxoma Peritonei Appendix cancer after his Appendix ruptured while working.

Mark had no idea that he had cancer before being diagnosed. “Murray Pfeifer did my first surgery in Southland Hospital, and he was the one who told me the bad news.  It took a while for the news to sink in and I said why me!”

Mark travelled to Wellington Hospital in February 2014 for a ten-hour Cytoreductive surgery and spent a long 11 days there before coming home. “I contacted the Cancer Society after I was diagnosed to find some help and support, they were amazing.”

“When I was first diagnosed, I was anxious and sad because I had such a rare cancer it was hard to find out about procedures of treatment and support. So, I started looking online and joined a support group on Facebook.

I have had no chemotherapy or radiation with the surgery and none to date. All I can say to someone that has been diagnosed with any type of cancer is to find the right specialist or oncologist and ask lots of questions and take a support person with you all the time.

Once I was feeling better and stronger, I started volunteering for the Cancer Society. I started helping with Daffodil Day and each year I decided to help as much as possible. At the end of the day, it makes me happy doing my little bit for Cancer Society. My prognosis to this point is looking clear and I am looking forward to the future.”

Robyn Flowers (Volunteering Coordinator) refers to Mark as an all-around superstar when it comes to helping at the Southland office. Mark has been volunteering with us since 2016 and has become an integral member of our team. Whether it is Daffodil Day, Relay For Life, providing practical support to clients, or coordinating our volunteers at the Stags home games Mark gives it his all and always with enthusiasm and a smile.

Daffodil Day symbolises hope for Mark and all New Zealanders impacted by cancer.  For 31 years, this iconic event has inspired people to come together and support the Cancer Society's work.

Donations can be made at daffodilday.org.nz – please give generously this year. 

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