Breast cancer charity ‘blown away’ by support from New Zealanders

May 22, 2024

Breast cancer charity ‘blown away’ by support from New Zealanders

Information flyers and shirts like these have been worn by thousands of New Zealanders this May to show their support. Photo: Madeleine Robertson.

The breast cancer charity Sweet Louise is currently hosting its annual fundraising event ‘Walk 50k this May’, which challenges people to walk 50 kilometres over the month.

Organisers say they are overwhelmed by the level of support shown by New Zealanders, with this year’s fundraiser attracting more entrants than last year's inaugural walk.

All funds raised though the event will be used to provide practical and emotional care to those with incurable breast cancer.

Sweet Louise’s communications and engagement manager Charlotte Fowler says she is blown away that altogether so far this month entrants have walked 78,000 kilometres.

“We have got over 3,000 people taking part in the challenge and Kiwis have raised over $380,000. This already exceeds last year's funds raised.”

Fowler says many of the walkers have family members, friends or have themselves suffered breast cancer.

“The walking challenge not only helps to raise funds but has been created to show Kiwi’s living with this heart-breaking diagnosis that they don’t have to face their diagnosis alone and that we are here to walk alongside them,” Fowler says.

One of the many new participants in this year's event is Auckland Hospital oncology nurse Emma Beard, who says the charity works closely with the hospital.

“We all see the positive impact they have on patients' lives, so we are happy to help them in any way we can. The majority of the nurses within the oncology unit are taking part in the fundraiser.”

Sweet Louise is the only charity in New Zealand dedicated to supporting those living with incurable, advanced breast cancer. It currently supports around 760 women and men across the country. The youngest is just 24 years old.

Approximately 3,500 people a year are diagnosed with breast cancer in New Zealand, 30% of those diagnosed with primary breast cancer will go on to develop incurable breast cancer.

By the end of the month, Sweet Louise is confident it will meet its goal of having covered 150,000 kms over the course of the challenge. This will result in around $450,000 being raised.

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