Pas­sion­ate vol­un­teer

Central Leader - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

Af­ter los­ing her fa­ther to can­cer, Ke­vala Shish­ma­nian found hope in vol­un­teer­ing for Daf­fodil Day.

Ms Shish­ma­nian was set to em­bark on her OE when her fa­ther Al­fred was di­ag­nosed with can­cer in his kid­neys in April 2010.

De­spite her protests he en­cour­aged her to travel, but she re­turned home a few months later be­cause the ag­gres­sive can­cer had spread. He died in De­cem­ber. ‘‘It was an ex­tremely hard thing to go through, which is part of the rea­son I do Can­cer So­ci­ety vol­un­teer­ing, be­cause they help the fam­i­lies and the peo­ple go­ing through it in so many ways,’’ the 27-yearold says.

‘‘It’s not only re­search. They help with hous­ing and coun­selling and just mak­ing cups of tea. And that’s one of the most im­por­tant things, be­cause if you don’t have the sup­port I don’t know how you would get through some­thing like that.’’

Daf­fodil Day is held on Fri­day and is the Can­cer So­ci­ety’s flag­ship fundrais­ing event.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive John Loof says the long-es­tab­lished event is im­por­tant be­cause the so­ci­ety doesn’t get any di­rect govern­ment fund­ing.

‘‘Daf­fodil Day en­ables us to con­tinue to do our much-needed work in the com­mu­nity to re­duce the im­pact of can­cer to­day and in the fu­ture,’’ he says.

Money raised goes to­wards vi­tal sci­en­tific re­search into the causes and treat­ments of all types of can­cer.

It also pro­vides for a wide-range of sup­port ser­vices and ed­u­ca­tion cam­paigns.

This year will be the third time the Mt Al­bert res­i­dent has worked as a vol­un­teer co-or­di­na­tor for the an­nual fundrais­ing event.

She in­sists it is some­thing she will con­tinue to do for the rest of her life.

‘‘I’ve met peo­ple that have been do­ing it for the last 20 years and it’s amaz­ing.

‘‘They’ve still got so much pas­sion for it and I’m hop­ing I’m go­ing to be one of those peo­ple in 20 years.

‘‘Do­ing this makes me feel like I’m giv­ing back in a way. I know my dad would be proud.’’

Fifty-five New Zealan­ders are di­ag­nosed with can­cer ev­ery day. It’s the coun­try’s lead­ing cause of death, with more than 8000 peo­ple dy­ing of can­cer ev­ery year.

Ms Shish­ma­nian says giv­ing just a lit­tle bit of money makes a huge dif­fer­ence.

Sil­ver lin­ing: Ke­vala Shish­ma­nian says the death of her fa­ther has in­spired her to be­come a life-long vol­un­teer for Daf­fodil Day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.