Fight­ing back against cancer

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - RE­BECCA MOORE

It’s been ‘‘a roller­coaster of a year’’ for Claire Burgess and her fam­ily.

The mother of two was di­ag­nosed with breast cancer in May last year, and since un­der­went a mas­tec­tomy on one side, more than four months of chemo­ther­apy and six weeks ra­dio­ther­apy in Dunedin.

With no fam­ily his­tory of the dis­ease, Burgess was shocked by the news of cancer.

How­ever, with the sup­port of her hus­band and chil­dren and the Cancer So­ci­ety, she is now doing well.

Dur­ing her treat­ment she re­ceived bak­ing from the Cancer So­ci­ety and a do­nated quilt, then while she was away in Dunedin dur­ing the Christ­mas and New Year pe­riod she stayed in the Daf­fodil House – ac­com­mo­da­tion provided by the Cancer So­ci­ety for peo­ple with cancer who re­quire treat­ment away from their home en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘It was just so amaz­ing ... I met so many peo­ple up there,’’ Burgess said. ‘‘The Cancer So­ci­ety has been great.’’

With daugh­ters of her own, she wants her story to en­cour­age other women and girls of any age to self-ex­am­ine. ‘‘It’s good to get to know your body for all can­cers, not just (those affecting) women.

‘‘It [cancer] def­i­nitely touches most of the com­mu­nity.’’

To give back to the Cancer So­ci­ety, on Saturday and Sun­day Burgess will be in a team of 20 fam­ily and friends par­tic­i­pat­ing in this year’s South­land Re­lay for Life.

‘‘It’s good for all ages. It’s an easy thing for all fit­ness lev­els.’’

The fundraiser is a good way to give back to the or­gan­i­sa­tion that helped her in her time of need, to get ac­tive and to have fun dress­ing up, she said.

Cancer So­ci­ety events and cam­paigns co-or­di­na­tor Amy Hibbs said this year, at the ninth re­lay, there would be an open­ing cer­e­mony, ac­tiv­i­ties and en­ter­tain­ment, and an evening can­dle­light cer­e­mony.

‘‘This is a time to re­mem­ber loved ones af­fected by cancer,’’ she said.

About 1000 peo­ple are ex­pected to at­tend the event, in­clud­ing about 800 par­tic­i­pants.

All money raised in South­land will stay in the re­gion.

Funds will go to­wards sup­port­ing peo­ple who have been af­fected by cancer, as well as be­ing used to un­der­take health pro­mo­tion to re­duce the risk of cancer and also fund re­search.

Coun­cil staff shave heads for cancer: see page 3.


Mem­bers of the CJ (Gin­ger) Ninja’s team: Maia Mur­doch, Claire Burgess, Olivia Burgess, So­phie Mur­doch and Tessa Burgess. ‘‘This is a time to re­mem­ber loved ones af­fected by cancer.’’

Amy Hibbs

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