Survivor returns favour for foundation support

Survivor giving back . . . Noela Buchanan is a breast cancer survivor who will be volunteering her time to the Pink Ribbon Street Appeal in Oamaru over the next two days. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Communities throughout the country will be plastered in pink this weekend, and Oamaru is no exception.

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ is running its annual Pink Ribbon Street Appeal today and tomorrow, and volunteers will be scattered across the town collecting donations for the foundation.

Kakanui woman Noela Buchanan, who will be one of those volunteers, has a special appreciation for the work the foundation does.

As a breast cancer survivor, Mrs Buchanan said the support the foundation had offered her, as well as others around the country, was incredible.

‘‘They were marvellous.

‘‘Everybody needs help if they’ve run into some problems like this, so having the cancer foundation is pretty amazing.’’

Since she had been living in Murchison atthe time, she had to travel to Christchurch for treatment.

The foundation organised her accommodation and appointments, and she was thankful for it taking a lot of that stress off her.

The Pink Ribbon Appeal was a great cause to support, and breast cancer could affect men as well as women, she said.

When her brother-in-law in Australia was also diagnosed with breast cancer, she was shocked.

‘‘I had never heard of a man before having it. I knew that men could, but I’d never known anyone who had.’’

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for New Zealand women under 65, and every year around 240 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the Te Whatu Ora Southern area.

The Oamaru Opera House and the Craig Fountain at the Oamaru Public Gardens will be lit up with pink lights to show support for the cause as well.

Oamaru Opera House director France McElhinney said they were always willing to help out such a good cause.

The lit-up fountain would give it an added purpose and help raise awareness for the cause, Oamaru Public Gardens parks officer Jane Matchett said.

‘‘Breast cancer touches a lot of the community in different ways.’’