Covid compromises Pink Ribbon appeal

Foleys marketing manager Tracy Pleasants and director Chris Sutherland. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON
Foleys marketing manager Tracy Pleasants and director Chris Sutherland. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON
When a Dunedin man’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, he recruited his colleagues to help raise funds and awareness of the disease.

Foleys director Chris Sutherland said his wife Bronwyn’s diagnosis about eight years ago was the catalyst for getting the company involved in the Breast Cancer Foundation’s annual Pink Ribbon Street Appeal.

‘‘Unless you’re exposed to it you don’t realise it’s out in the community as much,’’ Mr Sutherland said on Tuesday.

News of his wife’s diagnosis was a shock.

‘‘You just really are there for whatever your wife needs because they’re going through ... some major stuff.’’

That included surgery, chemotherapy and ongoing medication.

‘‘It’s a hell of a bloody journey for them.

‘‘For the blokes it’s just really being there to support.’’

So, for the past seven years Foleys staff members have dressed in pink and taken turns collecting money on appeal day.

Mr Sutherland noted that in the past it was mostly women who gave money and suspected that the men who donated had their own personal connection

to the disease.

Staff were set take part in the appeal again tomorrow but they found out yesterday they were unable to do so at their usual spot due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Foleys marketing manager Tracy Pleasants said they were gutted not to be able to take part this year.

They tried to find another spot at short notice but the other suitable locations were already taken, she said.

Ms Pleasants was hopeful they could take part again next year.

There will be other collectors around Dunedin tomorrow and people can still donate online at pinkribbonappeal.co.nz.

A Breast Cancer Foundation spokeswoman said the foundation would be down about $500,000 in income due to the cancellation of street appeals in Level 3 cities and Pink Ribbon Walks in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

It would be a ‘‘huge blow for us’’, she said.

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