The daffodils are yet to bloom, but preparations for Daffodil Day on Friday 26 August are well underway. Cancer Society nurse Penny Parsons is under no illusions about the importance of Daffodil Day.
Simply put, says Penny, the charity’s largest annual fundraiser is “vitally important” because it helps fund the work she does.
Penny leads a team of eight experienced nurses working in communities across the entire Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.
Between them, the team of nurses answered the call for help more than 8,000 times over the last year – visiting people with cancer in their homes, delivering meals, providing phone follow-ups and hosting support and walking groups.
“A cancer diagnosis is life-changing for people and their families,” says Penny.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty – and for some there is fear. Having a nurse who can demystify some of the process and talk with them about what to expect can help put them at ease.”
But for some families, it’s practical assistance that’s needed most.
“It’s about asking questions. Do they have transport to treatment? Do they need help with meals because they’re experiencing fatigue? Is someone in the family struggling and in need of counselling?
“These are the sorts of things that can relieve a lot of the stress and also the financial burden when someone in the family has cancer.”
Penny points out it can be a long journey for families, with cancer treatment often taking many months.
“Sometimes people have great natural support from friends and extended family at the start, but as time goes on that support can drop away. Cancer Society nurses walk alongside our clients for as long as they need us, because no one should face cancer alone.”
Fundraising from Daffodil Day ensures Cancer Society services like support from nurses, meals, transport to treatment and accommodation remains free for people with cancer.
Donate this Daffodil Day online at www.daffodilday.org.nz, at any ANZ branch during the month of August or when you see the street collector on Friday 26 August.
Cancer Society nurses walk alongside our clients for as long as they need us, because no one should face cancer alone.Penny, Supportive care nurse