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Breast cancer in the spotlight

Lorraine Goulton and Ana Whiteacre are hosting a Breast Cancer Awareness film in August. PHOTO/JOHN LAZO-RON

Breast cancer awareness takes to the big screen in the hope of letting suffering families know they’re not alone. JOHN LAZO-RON reports.

More than 3000 women across New Zealand are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. That’s nine women a day.

Out of those figures, about 40 women each year are diagnosed with breast cancer in the Wairarapa District Health Board area. About seven will die from it.

It’s no secret breast cancer wreaks havoc on people’s lives, including the families of the sufferers. But a Masterton-based group is now doing their part to ensure women and men know they are not alone in that suffering through the big screen.

Women of Faith Ministry Wairarapa [WOFMW] is a community initiative born out of a need for women to connect in the region. Despite being a Christian group, WOFMW plan both educational and fun events to which all women are welcome.

In searching for ways to help others, WOFMW members Lorraine Goulton and Ana Whiteacre stumbled across a short film called ‘Though I Walk’ by Christchurch director Kirsty Cameron.

Christchurch director Kirsty Cameron’s ‘Though I Walk’ is a gripping New Zealand docufiction of true breast cancer testimonies woven through dramatic narrative. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

Though I Walk is a gripping New Zealand docufiction of true breast cancer testimonies woven through dramatic narrative.

A story of hope in the midst of darkness.

Goulton said it was “quite by accident” that she found out about this film but was intrigued by its powerful message of hope and felt it would help many in Wairarapa.

“It’s a film that’s about 54 mins long where four New Zealand women who got a diagnosis of breast cancer talk about their lives and how it has affected their family and their faith, and how good has come out of suffering,” Lorraine said.

“It has a strong positive message that good can come out of really bad situations, and we felt this needed to be shown here in Wairarapa.”

“It’s very powerful and very moving, and by bringing this film here, we are confident this will move many, “ Ana said.

The group has teamed up with Equippers Church in Masterton to bring a special screening of the film in August to help people become more aware of breast cancer.

The pair said WOFMW wants to highlight breast cancer with men and women to help create further awareness in the community.

“It can help anyone that’s going through any suffering, not just breast cancer, and can relate to men and women with any sickness or disease in their lives,” Ana said.

“This is not just for Christians; this is for everyone in the public.”

One who knows the suffering of breast cancer is Gill Bruwer.

She a survivor of breast cancer after she was diagnosed eight years ago.

Gill said had she watched a movie of this calibre before she was diagnosed, it would have made a big difference.

“Nobody that I knew came forward and said ‘I’ve had it, this is what you can expect’,” Gill said, talking about the suffering of breast cancer.

“But I feel if I had seen a film like this one before diagnosis or while on my journey, it would have been a real encouragement.”

She is now urging people to take the time to see the film.

“Please come and see this movie. I’ve seen the trailer, and I believe it will help a lot of people by taking the fear out of a lot of women and men.”

Masterton Equippers Church senior pastor Matt Cornford was delighted to help host the event after he spent the majority of 2019 being treated for Burkitt’s Lymphoma.

Matt said that time not only affected him but his family.

“It affected me, but also my family and friends,” Matt said.

Kirsty Cameron.

“The cost on them is something I was acutely aware of. As such, I am all in on supporting those affected by cancer [patients and their families] in whatever way possible, and I am looking forward to being able to help bring this film to the Wairarapa.”

Both Ana and Lorraine said they were excited that a film of such importance was coming to Masterton and that Cameron would be present at the event.

Lorraine said they were hoping to get 300 people to the event.

There is a $10 entry fee. Proceeds from the event would go to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Tickets can be bought on Eventbrite.

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