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Daffodil Day turns 30 as Cancer Society meets new challenges

Since the first Daffodil Day in 1990 the yearly rate of cancer incidence has doubled say the Cancer Society. And it’s expected to climb further.

“With demand for our services increasing, the Cancer Society’s support is more vital than ever. As an organisation we’ve adapted to meet the need of increasing demand for our cancer support services,” says Lucy Elwood, CE of the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

“Inequities in care and survival, and rapidly changing treatments are altering the environment we support people in. And we’ve been really tested this year.

“Our priority during the COVID-19 pandemic was to continue supporting people with cancer. This found us being more flexible and moving some of our services online.

“Like everyone else in New Zealand we did what we had to do. Spending more time on our phone lines helping anxious and vulnerable people with cancer and their whānau, ensuring our accommodation was safe; supporting our older, more vulnerable volunteers, and on some days, changing our work roles so we could make sure patients got to treatment.

“Being a charity in a post COVID-19 economy has its challenges and this year, more than ever, we are hopeful that New Zealanders will come out to support us on Daffodil Day so that we can continue to play our part in delivering improved cancer services for all New Zealanders.”

In the lead up to Daffodil Day on August 28 the Cancer Society is celebrating 30 years of Daffodil Day with the launch of their 30 stories of Daffodil Day on social media.

“The people we’ve worked with, and those we’ve helped, are telling their stories about the impact cancer has had on their lives.”

People like Angela who found out she had renal cell carcinoma.

“I didn’t know who to talk to and felt lost in the system without support. My husband and I went along to the Cancer Society in Rolleston and were greeted by a wonderful bunch of people. We talked about normal things, not just cancer. Without the support of the Cancer Society our journeys could have been very different.” 

This month the Cancer Society will also launch ‘My Daffodil’. When making an online donation at supporters will receive a daffodil that they can dedicate to a loved one affected by cancer and share on social media.

“We want to make it easier for those of you that won’t be out and about or aren’t carrying cash. This will help support our street appeal,” says Lucy Elwood.

ANZ has been a major sponsor of the Cancer Society since 1990 and the principal sponsor of Daffodil Day. Each year ANZ staff get involved in fundraising activities that fund services and support New Zealanders with cancer.

Donations can be made at, at any ANZ branch during August, or during the street appeal on Friday 28 August.