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Global fundraising phenomenon hits New Zealand

Media Release
28 June 2005

Global fundraising phenomenon hits New Zealand

Charity wristbands, the global fundraising phenomenon started by cycling legend Lance Armstrong, hit New Zealand shores in force this week.

The Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand launch their 'Band Together' campaign on June 29, 2005. Made from red silicon and featuring the words 'Band Together', the wristbands will be sold nationwide for $3 through leading retailers including ASB Bank, Briscoes, Avanti, Video Ezy, Rebel Sport, Jeans West and Harvey's Real Estate, or directly through the campaign website (www.bandtogether.co.nz).

The red wristbands, as worn by Theresa Healey on 'Dancing With The Stars', are being sold to raise money for those affected by Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in New Zealand. The funds raised from the Band Together campaign will ensure the financial cost of physical activity is not a barrier to those with CF.

Theresa Healey became involved with the campaign after her second son was diagnosed soon after birth with potentially having CF.

"It was the most awful feeling," said Ms Healey. "Knowing that I might outlive my beautiful baby boy who has been born with an incurable condition is a dreadful feeling for any new mum. Thankfully, Xavier was later diagnosed as being an unaffected carrier, so he will grow up knowing he has the gene and will be aware of the consequences when it's his time to have children."

CF is New Zealand's single most life threatening genetic condition, with one in 25 kiwis carrying a CF gene. According to the CEO of Cystic Fibrosis NZ, Kate Russell, exercise is beneficial for those affected by CF.

"Medical advice is unanimous - people with CF can stay healthier for longer by participating in physical exercise from an early age" says Mrs Russell. "Money raised will go towards new bikes, swimming lessons, rugby boots, gym memberships and a variety of other activities to ensure those affected by CF have every opportunity to be active."

Charity wristbands were first launched internationally by Lance Armstrong to raise money for the foundation he established following his battle with cancer, with over 48 million 'Live Strong' wristbands selling in the last year. Wristbands are now a global phenomenon, to raise funds and increase awareness for charities. Especially popular with youth and young adults, wristbands are now worn by many celebrities around the world, including Bono, Chris Martin and David Beckham.

Ends

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