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Pour A Cup Of Kindness For Women Facing The Hidden Costs Of Incurable Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Sweet Louise invites New Zealanders to get together with friends and whānau to share a cuppa and raise funds for women in their community who are living with incurable breast cancer.

Sweet Louise Ambassador Hannah Barrett says: “We’re inviting people to host an in-person or virtual tea party at any time during October or November and help bring hope, companionship and support to the lives of New Zealanders facing a diagnosis of incurable breast cancer.

“My godmother, Louise Perkins, was the inspiration behind Sweet Louise. Louise was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer aged just 29, but this didn’t stop her living life to the full for over 10 years. All funds raised through the tea parties will help Sweet Louise support women with incurable breast cancer to live as well as possible, for as long as possible. The funds raised will provide women with specialised, one-to-one care; practical kindness like ready-made meals and home help; and family trips so women can build precious memories with their children and families.”

Sweet Louise is the only charity in New Zealand dedicated to improving the quality of life for Kiwis living with incurable breast cancer. Sweet Louise currently supports over 760 New Zealanders and their families right across the country.

“Advanced, incurable breast cancer, also known as metastatic, secondary or stage 4 breast cancer, is a cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body,” says Catrin Devonald, CEO of Sweet Louise.

“Being told that your cancer is incurable is devastating. Feelings of fear and shock are compounded by a lack of understanding of this disease. New Zealanders have a good understanding of primary breast cancer thanks to good information and publicity, but there is a real lack of awareness and lack of education around advanced breast cancer. Many of the women we support feel like it’s the forgotten form of breast cancer.

“Advanced breast cancer can be treated, but it cannot be cured. For the women we support, the narrative of “winning the battle” or “breast cancer survivor” doesn’t fit. This is a fight they can’t win. But their incredible courage and determination to make the most of the time they have, to be there for their kids and families, is truly humbling.

“Sweet Louise provides personalised, targeted care to deal with impacts on mental and emotional health, plus the social and financial impacts of living with a terminal diagnosis. Our support ranges from things like help with organising groceries, to support talking to medical professionals, to organising a break for the whole family,” adds Devonald.

The funds raised will support women like mum-of-two Cheryl Carr who was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer at the age of 40.

Cheryl says: “There are so many hidden costs with cancer. Sweet Louise helped me buy food when times were tough and helped me make my daughter’s birthday special. I am so grateful to have Sweet Louise by my side, ready to help when I need it.”

“I hope New Zealanders can join us to pour a cup of kindness this Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every dollar raised goes directly to helping women like me, living with incurable breast cancer.”

Sweet Louise is the only organisation of its kind in New Zealand and relies entirely on the generosity of New Zealanders to fund their work supporting women with incurable breast cancer.

To register or to find out more visit www.sweetoctober.nz

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