Weekend Sun   

Local support for breast cancer sufferers

Breast Cancer Support Tauranga service manager Helen Alice with her dog Boston at the 2019 Hot Pink Walk. Photo: Supplied.

Around 3500 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in New Zealand each year.

Breast Cancer Support Service Tauranga works to honour these people and to celebrate life.

Since 1991 the trust has been employing support workers who have been through breast cancer themselves. They are governed by a wonderful group who give their time, passion and expertise voluntarily.

Breast Cancer Support Service Tauranga service manager Helen Alice says the initiative is a peer support model.

“We do not give out medical advice or service, but provide practical and emotional support for people who are going through breast cancer,” says Helen.

“Emotional support means different things for different people. We do phone support, group support and also provide information about exercise programmes.

“We provide oncology massage, which is an approved form of massage that helps relieve stress in our clients, and also provide a counselling service when clients need a little more support than just chatting with somebody who has had breast cancer.”

The trust is not government or DHB funded, with funding only coming from their own fundraising or donations.

“We’re very much supported by this community,” says Helen, “and if it wasn’t for the support we wouldn’t be here.

“We service the Western Bay of Plenty, from Maketū through to Waihī Beach.”

To join this year’s Hot Pink Walk on October 20, head to: www.hotpinkwalk.co.nz


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