Pink proved to be Cromwell’s favourite colour last Sunday, as more than 100 people donned the colour for a 5km breast cancer awareness walk that raised almost $4000 for charity.
Organiser and ‘‘stage 4 breast cancer thriver’’ Anthea Lawrence said she was ‘‘so excited’’ by the turnout, which saw attendees walk along the lakefront from the Cromwell Boat Club to Old Cromwell.
‘‘I did not believe that there’d be this many people,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m really humbled, and it’s so amazing to have this many women and men and dogs and kids show out in force in pink today.’’
Attendees were encouraged to not only dress in pink but to also make a donation to the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.
In a Facebook post the day after the event, Mrs Lawrence said the donation tally had climbed to $3900.
Mrs Lawrence’s own journey had been ‘‘really quick’’.
After being diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in May, she said she soon learned the importance of keeping her emotions positive and always looking for silver linings.
‘‘Speaking to other women, I know a lot of them had lots of different experiences and I think a few of them used the (Breast Cancer) Foundation for counselling and things like that.
‘‘So I just wanted to support these other women who probably didn’t have the same sort of journey as me.’’
The Breast Cancer Foundation NZ’s website says about 3300 women and 25 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, while more than 650 people die from it.
Mrs Lawrence said she had made ‘‘fantastic’’ progress in her own journey, and had ended chemotherapy early.
‘‘I’m on immunotherapy and either all the tumours have disappeared or have shrunk by at least half,’’ she said.
Her advice to others was simple — check yourself.
‘‘First off, check your boobs. Know what your normal is, because I found a lump myself. Any indication of anything, change in your breasts, get it checked out.’’
Mrs Lawrence said she wanted to avoid the ‘‘stigma’’ around cancer and encouraged others to do the same.
‘‘As soon as you say that word, that’s why I don’t even like using the word, it puts you in a negative space,’’ she said.
‘‘So it’s coming at it from a different perspective and that the survival rate is really high now. And it’s all about doing the treatments but doing the other things. Meditate, positive thinking, your diet, stop the booze, don’t eat sugar, exercise, get out, be with your friends.
‘‘Enjoy life, because there is more life at the other side and there’s silver linings for everything.’’
Donations to the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ can be made directly via its website.