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Touch of humour to serious health issue

2 October 2008

Comedy provides a touch of humour to a serious women's health issue


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Katrina Hobbs, Nick Clelland-Stokes, Jayne Kiely


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Over 100 women attended the Silver Ribbon Foundation's inaugural event 'Silver Lining' to support New Zealand women living with a gynaecological cancer.


The Silver Lining comedy and cocktails evening hosted by television presenter Jayne Kiely took place on Thursday 25th September at the Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland.

"Silver Lining celebrated women and their bodies and helped to encourage open discussion without embarrassment," said Rachel Coates, co-founder of the Silver Ribbon Foundation.

"We also used the event to highlight the sobering fact that we lose approximately one New Zealand woman every 24 hours to a gynaecological cancer."

Comediennes TM Bishop, Diane Spencer and Irene Pink entertained the audience by adding a humorous touch to the issue in order to get more people – and not just women to start talking more openly about gynaecological terms such as "vulva" and "uterine".

Rachel Coates said the event gave the foundation the opportunity to thank their key sponsors, supporters and volunteers.

"It was great to meet some of the women who have been affected by a gynaecological cancer in one way or another.

"The encouragement and praise we received on the night are powerful motivators for the foundation to continue in our mission to be a key resource for patients, their families and friends," said Rachel Coates.

A silent auction was held on the night including a walk-on part for Outrageous Fortune, jewellery pieces from Zlato and Mont Blanc, an Air New Zealand two hour flight simulator experience and a NZ Explore Whale and Dolphin Safari cruise.

The auction raised more than $5000 for the Silver Ribbon Foundation.

*About Silver Ribbon:*


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Gus Fisher Gallery, Shortland Street Auckland

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The Silver Ribbon Foundation is a registered New Zealand charity that was established as a family initiative in 2006 to provide a gateway to knowledge, support and vital research to those affected by the disease.

It was co-founded by sisters Rachel Coates and Jackie Whiting, after the passing of their mother Leonie of ovarian cancer in 2006.

*About Gynaecological Cancer:*

There are four main types of gynaecological cancer, all with differing symptoms:

* Ovarian cancer - 312 new cases diagnosed and 173 deaths each year * Cervical cancer - 180 new cases diagnosed and 65 deaths each year * Uterine (endometrial) cancer - 314 new cases diagnosed and 78 deaths each year * Vulval cancer - 42 new cases diagnosed and 12 deaths each year

Jayne Kiely, Rachel Coates

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Of particular concern to Silver Ribbon is ovarian cancer. Because it is very hard to detect (the symptoms are vague, and there is no screening test for ovarian cancer) and often diagnosed late, the chances of survival are heavily reduced. As a result, 80% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will die within 5 years.

*- ENDS -*

Website: www.silverribbon.co.nz

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