March 1, 2021

Victoria our wonderful bowel cancer nurse has had a busy April attending meetings and events to promote the work Bowel Cancer New Zealand does in our community, and to raise awareness of the symptoms of this disease.

Attending the Pasifika Festival with the Bowel Screening Programme was a highlight for Victoria who said, “We had ‘Bella’ the Big, Blow-up Bowel along with us, which was a great visual tool to explain the different stages of the disease, as well as the importance of getting checked and screened in the early stages. Kids loved it, and would then encourage their parents to walk through while we chatted about bowel health.

“It was also a great opportunity to share with the public the work that Bowel Cancer NZ does to support those who have been diagnosed, or who are supporting loved ones. And who wouldn’t enjoy being out on a brilliant Auckland day with the sights, sounds and smells of our beautiful, multicultural country?”

Sandra Skipwith the Health Promotion Team Leader from the Bowel Screening Programme said, “Victoria came and helped on the day which was awesome for us. It was the first time we had Health Promoters from the three Auckland DHB’s and Bowel Cancer NZ all working together for the common good.”

Victoria also travelled to Wellington to attend a meeting of the Gastrointestinal Special Interest Group (GI SIG) and she was able to go a day early which allowed her to spend time with the nurses and information coordinator for Cancer Society Wellington and Kapiti. Victoria said, “This was a very important time to look at areas where we can support each other to best support our patients.”
 
The main focus of the Wellington trip was the GI SIG meeting which is a group of Senior Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Surgeons, Nurse Practitioners, Specialist Nurses including Victoria our nurse. She said, “I was invited to introduce myself and the work the Bowel Cancer NZ does nationwide to support patents and whānau. It was a great time of learning and of hearing about the changing face of treatments and where it is heading.”
 
Lastly on World Health Day Victoria was hard at work raising awareness of bowel cancer at Countdown Supermarkets Health Expo. Victoria said, “I got to spend a few hours at the Countdown Head Office interacting with the staff and getting the message out regarding screening, signs and what Bowel Cancer NZ does nationally.
 
“This day was put together by the newly appointed Health and Wellness Coordinator for Countdown. There were other organisations represented and I was able to hear people’s stories while also meeting others working in the prevention and promoting space.”