The Christchurch earthquake badly damaged the Cancer Society’s offices in Christchurch with two of its three buildings yellow stickered. This has impacted on the patient services they are now able to offer. There is much speculation in the media about the future of Christchurch CBD, which of course has direct implications for the Cancer Society’s properties within that zone.
As well as direct cash injections the other five Divisions of the Cancer Society of New Zealand are stepping up to help ease the burden for both patients currently under treatment and their colleagues, many of whom have suffered great personal loss themselves.
The Wellington Division is responding to website enquires and taking the 0800 Cancer calls for all of the South Island for the time being, which is a significant increase in workload for the Cancer Information nurses. Nelson and Malborough new patients (up to 15 per month) will be redirected to Wellington for Radiation Therapy and additional accommodation is being arranged.
Various planned events in Christchurch including Relay For Life and the NZ House & Garden Tour have had to be cancelled. Divisions across the country are doing all they can to help. A share of the proceeds (equal to the value of the cancelled Tour in Christchurch) from the remaining three NZ House & Garden Tours taking place in Auckland, Tauranga and Wairarapa in March will be donated to the Canterbury Division of the Cancer Society. Remaining Relays still to be held are also doing their bit to help out in a variety of ways.
Canterbury cancer patients will still benefit and be supported as the other Divisions around the country rally around and do what they can to support the Canterbury/West Coast Division. Lap tops have been provided by National Office and our Principal Daffodil Day Sponsor, The National Bank.
Elizabeth Chesterman, Chief Executive of the Cancer Society of New Zealand Canterbury/West Coast Division said “We really appreciate the support from across New Zealand that will help us rebuild our organisation and enable us to continue to assist cancer patients in our region at this difficult time.”