It was certainly an early morning start, preparing to speak alongside the Honourable Simon Bridges, Leader of the National Party and Leader of the Opposition at his Hot Seat breakfast interview last Thursday.

Over 120 SME’s gathered at the Alex Bar and Eatery in Auckland to listen to a confident and articulate Bridges speak in a Question and Answer session, discussing the future of small business in New Zealand.

As CEO of Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust, I was the first guest speaker and chosen recipient charity by the Auckland Central Business Network who organised the event, raising almost $1000 for bowel cancer rehabilitation.

Bowel cancer rehabilitation is a rapidly growing area of our charity and has been a hot topic of debate since the role out of the Free National Bowel Screening Programme in 2017, as more people are expected to survive a 5-year cancer diagnosis.

Out of the 3000+ Kiwis that are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, sadly, 1200 will die from it leaving over 1800 people a year requiring some form of cancer rehabilitation.

Data shows 1 in 4 people are affected by physical and/or emotional impairments after their treatment with little focus placed on rehabilitation programmes within the DHB’s for survivors.

All cancer survivors have been shown to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer recurrence or new cancer. All of which, according to the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, can be reduced with physical exercise, reducing mortality rates by up to 25% for bowel cancer patients and up to 44% for other cancers.

All money raised from this event has been put towards rehabilitation for bowel cancer patients with one Invercargill man being able to be moved from the waiting list to receive much-needed treatment the very next day.

Bowel Cancer Foundation has partnered with Pinc and Steel Rehabilitation Trust, who has trained over 80 specialist cancer rehabilitation physios in 52 clinics around New Zealand.

If you, or anyone you know would like rehabilitation, make contact so we can organise treatment sessions, email Georgina:

With thanks to Neil Berryman from The Auckland Central Business Network for organising the event.

Congratulations to Dennis Rundle of DJR Images for winning the relaxing 5-night package at Crusoe's Retreat in Fiji. The raffle helped us raise a total of $920.

Also, a big thank you to the Honourable Simon Bridges who has since organised a meeting with us to continue discussions around cancer rehabilitation and how together we can help all cancer patients.

If you would like to donate to help towards bowel cancer rehabilitation click here.