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This Daffodil Day Don’t Let Cancer Become The Forgotten C

While the country tries its best to shield from COVID-19, another enemy continues its creep into the lives of one in every three New Zealanders. This Daffodil Day the Cancer Society is urging its supporters not to let cancer become the forgotten C.

For 29 years Daffodil Day has been a symbol of hope. It has inspired people from all walks of life to come together to support the Cancer Society and to honour the memory of loved ones.

This year, on its 30th anniversary, Daffodil Day looks different but is more important than ever before.

“We are facing a difficult scenario with income significantly down and costs up as we continue to support New Zealanders with cancer,” says Lucy Elwood CEO, Cancer Society of New Zealand.

“We are staring down the barrel of a shortfall in fundraising of a possible $1 million from Daffodil Day alone. That’s a nearly 30% drop in revenue.”

Plus, costs for running essential services have increased.

“One example is our patient accommodation in Hamilton, typically providing accommodation and support for about 55 guests a night, had substantial extra costs in our first lockdown, moving from 5 days to 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Our costs in running our essential services increased because of COVID-19.”

This drop in income could impact the Cancer Society’s ability to help people get to and from essential treatment, provide their 0800 cancer information line, ensure overnight accommodation is available to all patients who require it, or guarantee counselling is accessible to patients and their whanau. It will also ultimately impact funding for ground-breaking cancer research.

“The long-term effect of reduced revenue will be devastating for people with cancer today, and for those with future diagnoses.”

The Cancer Society provides vital support to New Zealanders affected by all types of cancer. It also funds cancer awareness campaigns and essential research. Many of the vital services it provides are not available elsewhere.

“All our work is only possible thanks to the amazing generosity of New Zealanders, whose continued support we are calling on.”

Through 2020, and despite the Cancer Society’s best efforts, fundraising across the country has been reduced as key events have had to be cancelled. It makes Daffodil Day so vitally important this year, continues Lucy Elwood.

“It has been upsetting to have to cancel the traditional street appeal in Auckland. We have over 2,000 volunteers, 350 collection points and 150,000 daffodils that will have to stay at home this year. And across the country all fundraisers have had to get creative to ensure safety is paramount and the street appeal can continue.”

ANZ has been the principal sponsor of Daffodil Day since it began 30 years ago. ANZ will be matching all public donations through its Digital Daffodil, dollar-for-dollar up to the value of $500,000. People can download their own Digital Daffodil at anz.co.nz/donate.

All this is at a time when Cancer Society services are more in demand than ever. The country plays catch-up in cancer diagnoses following the first COVID-19 wave and country-wide lockdown.

“During Level 4 and 3 lockdowns, the majority of cancer treatment continued but there was a huge drop off in the numbers of people diagnosed with cancer. In April, there were 1,031 fewer cancer registrations than the same time in 2019.

“As a result, we’re now seeing an influx of people needing our services as delayed diagnoses start to be confirmed. There is never an easy time to hear that you, someone in your whānau or a friend has cancer. But people now also have the backdrop of heightened anxiety and increased economic hardship.

“We know New Zealanders are very generous, and those that can, still want to donate. But the chances to engage with our street appeal have been reduced and not just in Auckland. Across the country people are changing how they connect with us, as we combine our traditional Daffodil Day with a digital campaign.”

“Despite everything that COVID-19 has thrown at us, the spirit of community and hope that Daffodil Day embodies will continue to shine through”.

Support your local Cancer Society this Daffodil Day. Donations can be made at www.daffodilday.org.nz, at any ANZ branch during August, or during the street appeal (except Auckland) on Friday 28 August.

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