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Volunteering an ‘easy decision’ when the cause is close to your heart

Photographer Jennifer Carol says volunteering for the Cancer Society was the easiest decision she has ever made.

The Auckland Museum photographer, wife and mother of two teenage girls, was diagnosed with clear cell ovarian cancer, a relatively rare form of ovarian cancer, at the beginning of 2022.

It was her first experience with a life-threatening health issue, and she says she was “not versed in the medical language or prepared for the mental toll it would take” on both her and her family.

“The Cancer Society bridged that gap and provided not only the emotional support but advice on how to deal with living with this disease both during and after treatment. The ladies who took care of me did not shy away from the hard questions, but they delivered them in a way that made me feel genuinely cared for.”

Jennifer spent a lot of time in hospital for tests, surgery and chemotherapy and said the Cancer Society was a constant source of support and advice.

“There were days when the tears wouldn’t stop, and my body felt smashed and I needed every ounce of support. The ladies from the Cancer Society were always there for me. Just knowing I could pick up the phone and have an honest conversation with someone who genuinely cared meant I never had to feel alone.”

Once she began to feel stronger Jennifer was keen to offer her skills as a volunteer. She has photographed a volunteers’ lunch and most recently captured the colour, emotion and buzz of the 2024 Auckland Relay for Life – paying close attention to capturing the volunteers working to make the day a success.

“Volunteering for the Cancer Society was the easiest decision I've ever made.  If in some part I can make it easier for you to do what you do and support others I’m all in. I’m a fan for life.”

Jennifer is one of more than 8000 volunteers who give their time, energy and enthusiasm to support Cancer Society’s mahi annually, who the organisation wishes to thank and celebrate this National Volunteer Week.

If you’re keen to find out more about how you can get involved in volunteering with the Cancer Society head to