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14 Ways To Show Your Support For Breast Cancer Awareness This October

By Alice Rich
3rd Oct 2022

Pink umbrellas fill the rooftop over some sunny street in the med somewhere.

ICYMI, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You might already be acutely aware of breast cancer, because chances are you know someone who’s experienced it—and if not, there’s a high likelihood you will: in New Zealand, not only are more than 3500 women, and about 25 men, diagnosed with breast cancer every year, more than 650 women die every single year from the disease which is just straight-up unacceptable.

But the good news is the 10-year survival rate is 95% if the cancer is detected by a regular mammogram, and we’ve seen 34% fewer deaths since free screenings started, and that’s all due to incredible breakthroughs in breast cancer research, ak.a. the best (and only) way to defeat this far-too-common disease once and for all. Organisations like Breast Cancer Foundation NZ (BCFNZ) and Sweet Louise rely heavily on funding from the New Zealand public so it’s crucial they get the support to continue their research and reach their admirable goal of preventing New Zealander developing and dying from breast cancer and to improve the quality of life of those who have the disease. 

It’s not too late to rally the troops, or just yourself, to raise a bit of cash for this totally worthy and far-too-close-to-home cause, and we’ve put together a few ways you can do it. 

Here are 14 ways to show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. 

Pink Ribbon Breakfast

If like us you’re a big fan of brunch (you are) hosting a Pink Ribbon Breakfast, a.k.a. brunch with a cause is a very easy, very delicious way of raising much-need funds. While Pink Ribbon Breakfast technically takes place in May you can absolutely still throw a charity brunch, no matter if your cupcakes would take the cake in a NZ Bake Off showstopper challenge or they’re manifesting more of a NailedIt vibe. Throw your shindig then donate here

Get On Your Bike And Ride

Bring your motorbike, bike or scooter and join the 19th annual Pink Ribbon Ride on 9 October. The convoy, complete with police escort, will ride from Auckland Netball Centre to Western Springs Stadium where there’ll be badges, raffle tickets, and a sausage sizzle to raise funds for Breast Cancer Foundation NZ. As a bonus, there are loads of prizes up for grabs too.

Host A Sweet October Tea Party

If you’d fancy more of a high tea situation, get involved in Sweet Louise’s Sweet October Tea Party. Sweet Louise provides support for incurable breast cancer in the form of one-to-one care, face-to-face support groups, support with ready-made meals and home help, vouchers for self-care services like oncology massages and food and transport costs and more. 

Pink Ribbon Walk

If getting active’s more your thing you’ll want to nab tickets to BCFNZ’s annual Pink Ribbon Walk for you and your crew. Sponsored by The Hits, SBS Bank and Pink Lady Apples the walk is a hotly anticipated event where walkers don all manner of pink outfits and walk, for good. The Pink Ribbon Walk is taking place in Christchurch on 30 October, Auckland on 6 November and Wellington on 13 November and it’s open to everyone from couch potato to lowkey athlete. It’s also a great opportunity to get those steps in but if you’d prefer to sit this one out you can still support by donating to a walker

Buy Pink Products

Not gonna lie, shopping's not an unpleasant way to contribute, and there's a plethora of pink products donating a portion of their sales to breast cancer research. There’s no better excuse to ditch that 10-year-old hair straightener with a piece or two of ghd’s limited edition Take Control Now collection, or bring home a beautiful bunch of Pink Ribbon Roses. Griffin’s is even donating a portion of sales from each limited edition Snax Pink Peppercorn crackers to the cause. Looking for something naughtier? Sink your teeth into Griffin’s mouth-watering limited Raspberry MallowPuffs. Keep your eyes peeled for the Pink Ribbon logo on other great products this month.  

A LSKD top with the QR Code inside.Turn Your Activewear Pink

Speaking of pink products, Aussie-based activewear label LSKD (a.k.a Loose Kid) will be releasing 54 styles of activewear on 4 October in a pink sportswear and streetwear collection for men and women. We love that the brand is going a step further and including a QR code on the inside tag of their women’s bras which lead people to an educational page on LSKD’s website on how to check your breasts. 5% of all revenue generated will be donated to their partner Australia’s National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF)—last year they donated $25,000 and they hope to double it this year, so if you’re in need of some new sporty threads, jump onto their website and help out. 

Swap Out Your Visa 

Retire your old credit card and add a pop of colour to your wallet with a swish SBS Pink Ribbon Visa instead. Every time someone opens a Pink Ribbon Visa account SBS Bank donates $20 to BCFNZ and a further 5 cents every time you use your card. That might not seem like lots… until you think about how many times a week, a month and a year you swipe your card. There are also a bunch of eligible transactions that will allow you to earn cash back rewards. You can choose to either keep these for yourself or donate a portion to BCFNZ as a bonus. 

Go Pink For A Day

Organisations wanting to tautoko (support) Breast Cancer Awareness Month might just love to Go Pink For A Day. Sign up and receive all the fundraising tips and resources you need to make a difference and help save lives this October. Plus, the first 500 organisations that sign up will receive a pack of goodies including posters, pink ribbons and donation stickers to make your event a breeze. 

Put All That Food Photography To Good Use

Let’s be real—we’ve all been honing our food photography skills ever since IG was a thing. Now’s the chance to photograph with purpose. Every time you buy a Pink Lady Apple a portion of the proceeds is donated to BCFNZ’s work and from now until October 20th, you can flaunt your skills in the #PinkLadySnapsNZ IG competition. So pop along to your local supermarket, buy yourself a bushel of apples and bake up something delicious. Post your creation and you could win the title of 2022 Pink Lady Snaps Grand Champion along with a Pink Kitchen Aid, Pink Lady apple kitchen goodies and a feature in the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2022 exhibition in London. Ka rawe!

D.I.Y Fundraiser

Got a fundraising idea that’s totally out of the box? Flex your imagination and throw together your own totally bespoke fundraiser then donate the proceeds. From giving up coffee, booze, social media or Tinder to bake sales, cooking competitions, selling your own clothes or shaving your head (or beard), every dollar helps. Register here and you can even apply for BCFNZ promotional materials like pink ribbons, balloons and key rings to get the ball rolling.

Join The 2022 Pink Ribbon Street Appeal 

These days it’s hard to find someone whose life isn’t hectic AF. But it’s all a matter of what you choose to prioritise, and even a small amount of time and effort from you can help to stop people from dying from breast cancer. The Pink Ribbon Street Appeal is taking place all over Aotearoa on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October. Volunteer your time as an Area Coordinator or Bucket Shaker, or donate whatever you can spare at an official collection site. 

Take Care Of Your Breasts

Early detection is your best protection against breast cancer and while breast cancer is most likely to occur in people with breasts over the age of 50, young people, and men, including transgender men, can get it too. Being breast aware—knowing how your breasts normally look and feel and checking your breasts regularly for any unusual changes—is a great place to start. For more ways to take care of your breasts, check out BCFNZ’s great tool

Attend A Breast Cancer Trials Q&A

About 5-10% of breast cancer cases are considered hereditary—passed on from a parent via the ‘BRCA’ gene—so if you know you have a family history of breast cancer, or you’re just curious, you might like to attend a free online Q&A panel about genetic breast cancer on 24 October. The panel is run by Breast Cancer Trials, Australia and New Zealand’s largest oncology research group, and the panel will feature genetic cancer experts and researchers Professor Geoff Lindemann and Professor Kelly-Anne Phillips, specialist in cancer genetics Dr Milita Zaleed, and BRCA gene carrier Ms Karen Alexander. 

Just… Donate!

At the end of the day, sometimes the simplest methods are the most effective. Whether you pass around an envelope in the office or set aside something from your own next pay cheque, it’s the cash money from people like you that keeps organisations like BCFNZ and others doing what they do. If you need an excuse, giving a donation in lieu of a gift is also a nice way to round up those dollars—think a colleague’s farewell, your birthday, or your parent’s wedding anniversary. You can donate to a friend's fundraiser or directly right here, or you can join the Zero Club and help BCFNZ achieve zero deaths from breast cancer as a regular giver. 

Lift your spirits with a visit to one of Auckland's prettiest flower walks

Image credit: Chandler Walters, LSKD.

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