Wednesday, February 18, 2015

All about: 1000 Tees For 1000 Women & The NZBCF



Last week I was privileged to be invited to the official launch of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation’s (NZBCF) unique new fundraising campaign, 1000 Tees For 1000 Women.
The clever name of the campaign was chosen as a tribute to the 1000 New Zealand women who by the end of summer, will be diagnosed with breast cancer - an average of eight women diagnosed every day.
This time two years’ ago I was one of those women, and despite being surrounded by well meaning friends and family, I felt horribly, indescribably alone. I struggled to find someone to talk to who didn’t come out with platitudes like, “well at least it’s not a death sentence these days!” (actually it can be, for some women), or felt completely helpless in the face of my distress (which is fair enough).
In response to the alarming statistics above, the campaign aims to raise funds to create a new, tailored counselling service for women with breast cancer, which is exactly what I needed in my time of diagnosis, and during treatment, and afterwards. I have never seen a counsellor and still think about  - and obsess over – my cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, and whether or not it will come back and threaten my life again. Six monthly checks mean that I am one step ahead of many, but that often does little to allay my fears of the disease’s return and my own mortality. My scars are healing but my mind still needs work!
But enough about me and back to the campaign. 1,000 t-shirts numbered one to 1,000 will be available to purchase for the dollar value of their individual number. The NZBCF aims to raise $500,000 from the initiative, and with tees already being snapped up I believe that they will.
The programme will complement the existing support framework provided by the NZBCF, which includes funding of one-on-one and group physical rehabilitation services, practical support services for women with advanced breast cancer, online and printed materials and a free breastcare nurse advice line, as well as assisting breast cancer support groups around the country.   
Most importantly, the service will provide counselling and support that meets the specific needs of each individual woman, depending on her personal circumstances. Counselling has been shown to significantly improve prospects for women going through treatment. In fact, a meta-analysis in the United States showed mortality rates were as much as 39 per cent higher in patients who had been diagnosed with major depression.
The NZBCF’s personal approach to its new counselling service is reflected in its campaign. With just 1,000 one-off tees available for sale, there is only one opportunity to purchase each number, meaning each tee is limited edition and entirely unique – touching on the individual and personal journey each women undergoes. In addition, each individual tee has been designed using a bespoke font, which was originally designed for the highly acclaimed Wallpaper* magazine and donated by New York-based company, Commercial Type. 
As well as raising funds, the tees will also raise awareness of breast cancer in New Zealand, act as a symbol of support by the wearer, and encourage others to lend their own generosity. “Each tee is a tribute to one of the 1,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer this summer, a sign that those women are receiving the support they need, and a symbol of the generosity of the wearer”, says Evangelia Henderson, CEO NZBCF. 

New Zealanders can show their support for 1000 Tees for 1000 Women and New Zealand women with breast cancer by purchasing a t-shirt and wearing it proudly. Visit www.1000women.co.nz to purchase and find out more.

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