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Biking for Boobs Gives Thrill at Sky City

Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC)
Media Release, Auckland 8 March 2008
For Immediate Release

Biking for Boobs Gives Thrill at Sky City

The Sky City forecourt resounded to the roar of motorcycles last night as the Herceptin Riders 'Biking for Boobs' Peaceful Protest Ride rolled into Auckland.

The ten pink bikes and riders were greeted by representatives of the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC), National MP Jackie Blue and other supporters.

The week-long Protest Ride through the North Island will highlight the government's refusal to fund the world standard 52 weeks of Herceptin treatment for women with early stage HER2 positive breast cancer. PHARMAC funds only 9 weeks of Herceptin for New Zealand women.

Nelson based Maxine Cook organised the ride over concern for the plight of women with early stage HER2 positive breast cancer who could not afford to fund extra Herceptin treatments. An avid biker, Maxine has been overwhelmed by the generous sponsorship received for the Ride from individuals, businesses and corporate organisations. 'The Ride is about two things - boobs and bikes. It's about motorcyclists getting together to enjoy some great roads in the North Island but more importantly, we're trying to make a positive difference in the lives of our HER2 positive breast cancer battlers and their families in New Zealand.'

Maxine hopes the money raised from the Ride can kick-start individual Herceptin fundraising campaigns.

The Ride ends in Wellington on Wednesday March 12 at the steps of Parliament. The Riders will present a petition of signatures gathered along the way. 'We hope there will be so many machines it'll be noisy enough to make it hard for politicians to ignore the wishes of New Zealanders who want this treatment fully funded for our women who need and deserve it,' said Max.

MPs, Maxine Cook, Herceptin Heroine Chris Walsh, Nic Russell and Anne Hayden are among the speakers at the Wellington event. Ms Hayden organised the first petition asking for 12 months Herceptin funding in 2006. A second petition was presented to parliament in 2007 and Wednesday's event will see the third petition lodged.

About the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition

The Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) is an Incorporated Society with charitable status, presenting a unified voice to call for change, improvement and innovation on behalf of all New Zealand women experiencing breast cancer.

BCAC was formed in November, 2004 when twelve New Zealand breast cancer organisations came together at a forum to create one group. BCAC now has twenty-three member organisations and is currently working on five major initiatives:
1. to ensure consistent, high quality detection and treatment of breast cancer throughout New Zealand by promoting the development and implementation of evidence-based best practice guidelines;
2. to support the prompt and effective implementation of the extended age breast-screening programme (45 to 69);
3. to inform and advocate for improved access to breast cancer treatment drugs;
4. to research and promote the provision of professional psychosocial services for breast cancer patients and their whanau, family, friends and supporters;
5. to identify and promote breast cancer issues for Māori and Pacific Island women


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