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Breast CancerSupport Aotearoa
is here to help you navigate your experience of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Support Aotearoa has been helping people diagnosed with breast cancer since the 1980s.
We are the only national organisation in New Zealand with a peer support focus for those diagnosed with breast cancer and are recognised by medical providers of breast cancer services as a reputable source of structured peer support.
We have built collaborative networks with a multitude of organisations so we can always find appropriate support for you, no matter where you live in Aotearoa.
Because we’ve been where you are, we know that sometimes you just need support from someone who’s experienced breast cancer too.
We provide appropriate peer-based support for people of all ethnicities, through our network of Māori, Pasifika, Asian, and NZ European volunteers throughout New Zealand.
Our aim is to empower and enable those with breast cancer to make well-informed decisions about their treatment, care, and recovery.
The support we offer is non-medical, practical (tips and tools), and has a focus on the emotional wellbeing of a person, with the four pillars of Te Whare Tapa Whā guiding our approach.
We support those with breast cancer and their whānau to be as strong and well as possible in all four of these areas as they navigate their breast cancer journey.
Along with our team of dedicated volunteers, Breast Cancer Support Aotearoa (BCSA) funds a National Service Coordinator role. We also have the strategic guidance of a committee to oversee the management and governance of the organisation. If you would like to volunteer for us, please get in touch
Liz lives in the Bay of Plenty with her husband and grand daughter and is in private practice working in the wellbeing consulting space.
Liz had breast cancer in 2021, picked up during a routine mammogram. She had surgery and radiotherapy in Wellington where she was living at the time.
She is a registered nurse and has had a lifelong interest in both women's health and mental health, serving on committees and in CE roles at Rural Women NZ and Vitae and Anglican social services.
Liz serves on the Board of Cure Our Ovarian Cancer, her local school Board of Trustees, and on the committee of CIMA (Crisis Intervention and Management Australasia) where she can make a contribution to community wellbeing.
I was put in touch with the Breast Cancer Support team 21 years ago, following my breast cancer surgery.
The help, friendship and confidence BCS gave me made such a difference to my experience, from post-surgery to finishing chemotherapy, and dealing with a life that would never be quite the same again.
There is no doubt the support I received from BCSA aided my recovery and I want others travelling a similar road to receive that support too.
NATIONAL SERVICE COORDINATOR
As the National Coordinator of Breast Cancer Support Aotearoa, I have the unique privilege of working with a great team of women who have experienced breast cancer themselves and share a determination to give back to others travelling a similar road.
The key message of our organisation is ‘Tū rangatira ai’, ‘We’ve been there too’ and indeed we all have. Everyone volunteering or working for us has experienced this cancer that affects over 3,000 women and men every year in Aotearoa New Zealand.
It is through our shared pathways that we can support those whose journey may have just started, or those who may need some help further along the way.
I know from personal experience that the camaraderie of others who have shared similar challenges is a tonic for the soul.
The focus of our organisation is to enable and empower these kinds of connections through our peer support programmes in the hope that we may offer those with breast cancer an approach to care and recovery that complements medical treatments.
Not long after my breast cancer diagnosis fifteen years ago I joined a Nordic walking group for those who’d had breast cancer. This regular contact with others was a wonderful turning point for myself and countless other women. This is what I hope we can do for you too.
COMMITTEE AND CHRISTCHURCH SUPPORT GROUP COORDINATOR
Coordinating our Christchurch Breast Cancer Support and offering support and a listening ear to people at such a scary and unknown time, gives me such an immense sense of satisfaction.
Being a survivor of breast cancer myself, I think it is so important that newly diagnosed people see that although this is a stressful and overwhelming situation to be in, you can have a positive outcome and it will get better. Our group is full of these women. We share experiences, support and understanding of the uncertainty a diagnosis can bring. We enjoy much needed laughter and celebrate each milestone along the way.
I’m so proud to have met so many inspiring women and admire and respect the strength each of them brings to others in our group.
Angela is an experienced change maker, community leader and owner of a successful motorcycle retail and repair business.
Amongst other things, she has been the media spokesperson for the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition, was a key spokesperson for the Coalition for Quality Flexible Work Legislation and Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL), and a strong lobbyist on such things as rural connectivity, reducing the rates of violence against women and empowering women through removing barriers they encounter in everyday life.
She has worked in policy, communications, governance, leadership and advisory roles internationally, nationally and locally. Angela lives on a lifestyle block near Upper Hutt with husband Mac and they share it with family, friends and various woofers and workawayers from time to time.
Rebecca is a qualified mediator with a specialty in family dispute resolution. She has 30 years of experience working with diverse family/whānau and community groups, including 13 years in the UK focusing on child protection. She is a trainer/facilitator in the primary handling and early detection of maltreatment and abuse within the child protection setting.
Rebecca has also undertaken training in the New Zealand Coordinated Incident Management System managing emergency situations, and is a trained responder in Crisis Intervention Stress Management: group defuse and debriefing specialist, crisis intervention, stress and trauma.
As a Draw and Talk specialist - and with her current mahi working in the mental health and addiction space - Rebecca has a real passion for the well-being and connectedness of people.
In her spare time, Rebecca likes reading online to her six-year-old moko who is based in the UK. She loves spending time with her family, being outdoors in nature, and watching rugby, and enjoys a good book.
Your donation means we can give even more support to those who need it, at the time when they need it most.
We love to hear from women and men who would like to use their breast cancer experience to support others.
We're always here to support you. Our breast cancer support line is available from 8:30am to 5:00pm, 365 days a year.
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