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Leukaemia Appeal Week Nov 4 - 10 2008

Leukaemia Appeal Week Nov 4 - 10 2008

The Leukaemia & Blood Foundation's (LBF) annual Appeal Week kicks off with celebrities Hilary Barry and Alison Mau Lunching for Leukaemia at the Villa Maria Estate Winery to show their support for people living with leukaemia.

The LBF's annual fundraiser encourages people to organise a Lunch for Leukaemia, ranging from simply bringing a packed lunch and donating what you would have spent to the LBF, to holding an elaborate themed banquet, or sharing a pot luck lunch with friends.

Hilary Barry, LBF's new national ambassador, says: "I think having a lunch for Leukaemia Appeal Week is a wonderful idea. So many New Zealanders know a friend, or a friend of a friend who has leukaemia, so what better way to acknowledge their battle than organising a lunch for this great cause?" Six children and adults in New Zealand are diagnosed everyday with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood condition and this figure is set to rise. Leukaemia is the leading childhood cancer and blood cancers combined are the fifth most common cancer in this country. Alison Mau says: "This kind of organisation struggles for attention, having to compete with other cancer charities. An event like this is hugely important and I'm looking forward to doing more for LBF."

Pru Etcheverry, Executive Director of the LBF, says: "The diagnosis of leukaemia can have far-reaching consequences for patients and their families. The LBF provides assistance for people dealing with their illness and treatment and getting back to a normal life through educational booklets, support groups, counselling and financial support.

"The LBF receives no government funding. As such, the energy and enthusiasm of people who help us during Appeal Week is invaluable, and ultimately makes our work possible," Ms Etcheverry continues.

"We are so used to having to give something up we love or having to run a marathon to raise money, but what could be nicer than getting a bunch of friends together and having a lovely lunch to raise funds for a great cause?" she said. There are currently 10,000 New Zealanders living with a blood cancer such as leukaemia or lymphoma. The cause of leukaemia is not known for definite, but there are several factors which seem to affect its development. However, these account for only a small number of leukaemia cases. In most other instances, the cause of the disease remains unknown. Please call 0800 15 10 15 or visit www.leukaemia.org.nz for more information on Lunch for Leukaemia.

ENDS

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