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What to do when things go tits up

Amber Arkell, breast cancer survivor and author of the blog ‘When things Went Tits Up’. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
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A former Wairarapa woman diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just 26 years old is hoping to spread awareness and raise funds for young women diagnosed with the “big C” at a lunch this weekend.

Amber Arkell, breast cancer survivor and author of the blog ‘When things Went Tits Up’, will be speaking at the event organised by Shocking Pink and Rose and Smith.

Paula Bevege, of Rose and Smith, first met Arkell at a wedding where she was the master of ceremonies.

After learning her story, Bevege asked her to speak at an event to raise funds for Shocking Pink, to be held at the Tauherenikau Racecourse this weekend.

“Everyone’s done so much for us and we just wanted to do something for charity.

She said it was lovely that Arkell had a local connection having grown up in Wairarapa.

“She turned something really terrible into a positive.

“I love that she’s educating young women.”

Funds raised from the event will go towards Shocking Pink, a charity which Arkell said needed more attention.

“It’s amazing to have a breast cancer event supporting another cause other than the Breast Cancer Foundation.

“You are directly supporting young women with breast cancer,” she said.

Shocking Pink provides support groups and financial funding for women under the age of 45 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She said the organisation had grown over the years but was often overlooked.

“When I was first diagnosed and joined, there were just over 300 and now there are 500 people.

“That’s solely young women who have been diagnosed.”

Arkell hoped the event would help women realise that breast cancer doesn’t discriminate and can happen to women at any age.

“The essence of my talk is to show one example of a young woman who has been through breast cancer in New Zealand. I am only one story.

“Cancer or no cancer, I hope my talk sheds light for people in terms of what it’s like or it resonates with people who have had cancer or know someone who has.”

She encouraged women to “feel their boobies” and “know their normal”, because early detection was vital.

There are still a few tickets left for the lunchtime event which will be held from 11.30am to 3pm tomorrow at the Tauherenikau Racecourse.

Tickets cost $80 and include a three-course lunch, beverages, entertainment, a fashion show, balloon pop auction, and return transport with Tranzit.

More information can be found online at eventbrite.com.

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