Nor West News : March 22nd 2012
Bid for Sonny's glove at auction Punching cause: A glove signed by Sonny Bill Williams will by on display at the Relay For Life event at Kumeu Showgrounds on March 24. Rallying around: An autographed Waikato Chiefs rugby jersey will help raise money for the Cancer Society. By BROOKE PITA A cancer survivor is selling a signed Sonny Bill Williams training glove and Waikato Chiefs rugby jersey to raise money for the Cancer Society. The items will be displayed at the Relay For Life event at Kumeu Showgrounds on March 24 and they will be on Trade Me until March 25. Matiu Leonard, who grew up in Rotorua, was diagnosed with tes- ticular cancer in 2005 at the age of 21.He says the moment he was told he had cancer was a complete shock. I was in disbelief, it all happened so fast,'' he says. I didn't really think you could get it at such a young age.'' After years of battling with can- cer, he became a firefighter in 2010. Mr Leonard says the idea to sell the sports items came from his friend Liam Messam. Chiefs captain Messam trained with Sonny Bill Williams in the past and gave the items to Mr Leonard to sell to raise funds for the Cancer Society. Mr Leonard says he appreciates the help the Cancer Society provides for cancer patients and that he wanted to show his support by raising funds for the organis- ation. The Cancer Society helped me through my cancer journey and I want to give back to them and also let others out there going through their own journey know that they're not alone.'' Marketing and communications manager Alannah Hunter says money made from the items will help the Cancer Society continue to provide support for cancer patients in the community. The money raised by Matiu will go to cancer research, and into our community cancer services such as the cancer nurses,'' she says. Cancer nurses work with cancer patients and their families at home for free and provide support, help with treatment decisions, and the side effects of the treatment. The Cancer Society is reliant on public support as it is not govern- ment funded. -- Brooke Pita is an AUT journalism student Hip replacement doesn't stop ex-runner's relay By BROOKE PITA Walk on: A hip replacement is not an excuse for Huapai resident Dennis Papa aiming to walk 100km at this weekend's Relay for Life in Kumeu. An artificial hip will not stop 70-year-old ex-marathon run- ner Dennis Papa from achiev- ing his goal of walking from Cape Reinga to Bluff this year. Mr Papa, who grew up in Huapai, has been involved in numerous running marathons in New Zealand. But after his hip replace- ment in 2010 he was told he could not run again, so instead he walks. Many people think just because you have had a hip replacement you can't do a lot,'' he says. I want to show people that isn't true.'' He is a member of the Rotary Club of Kumeu who has entered a team in this weekend's Relay For Life event at Kumeu. Mr Papa aims to walk 100km at the event. Rotary president Graham Cato says there are hopes the publicity will help with Mr Papa's future goal to walk the length of New Zealand. He wants to walk from Cape Reinga to Bluff but he needs more sponsorships to do this.'' Mr Papa says the walk from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island will be expensive due to the cost of campervans and food. He plans to begin his walk in mid-April where he will be collecting donations for the Cancer Society along the way. -- Brooke Pita is an AUT journalism student JOINING IN CELEBRATION What is Relay For Life? Itisnotarace--it'sa celebration and awareness fundraising event for the Cancer Society of New Zealand. A wonderful source of inspiration for thousands of people yearly. Resourced by volunteers and supported by many community-minded businesses, the event unites the community in the fight against cancer. A remarkable and moving overnight team event which acknowledges cancer survivors and loved ones lost to cancer and fights against a disease that takes so much. What happens on relay day? Teams of 10 or more camp out overnight and take part in a walk/ run relay while enjoying a carnival atmosphere with entertainment, prizes and lots of fun. People of all ages and from all walks of life put together teams of friends, whanau, colleagues, sports or community groups and join together to have fun, raise awareness, fundraise, support those with cancer and work towards a cancer-free future. The opening ceremony is a highlight of the relay. Cancer survivors and their carers are the guests of honour and lead the way in the first lap. At dusk a candlelight ceremony is held. It is a time to remember those lost to cancer and to show our support for those living with cancer. Candlebags inscribed with personal messages are placed around the track and as they burn throughout the night they emit a warm glow from the candles placed inside. At the closing ceremony, everyone comes together to celebrate our success, remember the fun and treasure our special memories and the new friendships that have been forged. The event represents the hope that those who have lost their lives to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported and that one day we will live in a cancer- free world. Its history The concept began in 1985, when Dr Gordon Klatt, a surgeon and American Cancer Society volunteer, ran and walked 81 miles on a local track for 24 hours. He raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. From his experience, Relay For Life evolved. It is now the biggest fundraiser for cancer in 20 countries around the world and is the American Cancer Society's signature programme for advocacy and cancer awareness. In 2001 the Cancer Society of New Zealand held its first Relay For Life in Palmerston North. It was a tremendous success, raising $140,000.
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