Covid-19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Daffodil Day – fighting cancer during lockdown

Today is the first time in 31 years the Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day street appeal can’t go ahead across the entire country, because of the Delta outbreak and just a year after Auckland’s appeal was cancelled. Cancer patients could be $1 million short of support to help them beat cancer. Five New Zealanders fighting cancer during lockdown share what Daffodil Day means to them.

Louise Curtis, 51, Wellington, brain cancer

“For me, Daffodil Day is a celebration of life and hope. Hope for a cure for cancer. The Cancer Society has done a lot to help me and other individuals and families in New Zealand. It feels good to support them in this way and to give something back.”

Katrina Aicken, 51, Invercargill, breast cancer

“I discovered a lump in my breast last September. Tests revealed I had breast cancer that had spread to my lymph nodes. Since then, the cancer has spread to my lungs and liver and I’ve received a terminal diagnosis. Spring is my favourite season. I don’t know what it is, but daffodils make me happy. I love it when you see so many together and you just want to sit there and relax and feel at peace. No worries. No pain. Before my mum passed away, she gave me a glass daffodil and it sits in my lounge in a vase as she also loved daffodils. So they remind me of her as well.”

Anne Mathieson, 37, Auckland, bowel cancer

“I’m locked down in Auckland with my husband and two boys ages 5 and 3. Balancing home schooling and GP work. Today is a day to remember relatives who have had cancer, to remember my journey and to appreciate all the help from my personal support crew that has helped and continues to help me. It is also a day to give back to the Cancer Society to support the wonderful work they do holding people and families through their journeys.”

Mandy Westrupp, 39, Nelson, breast cancer

“I think it’s important that on Daffodil Day, New Zealanders reflect on the fact that cancer can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any age. I was only 37 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and at that time, I was still breastfeeding my youngest daughter. Alongside the support of my family, the ongoing help from the Cancer Society has been invaluable during that time. I would like to let all New Zealanders know that, if you donate to the Cancer Society on Daffodil Day, you support people like me and my family.”

Erin Dalton, 42, Auckland, terminal bowel cancer

“It is disappointing to see Daffodil Day cancelled for the second year in a row [in Auckland] due to lockdown. I think daffodils are a lovely symbol of happiness and hope. Daffodil Day is a way to show you care for those of us going through cancer and being supported by the Cancer Society.”

Rachael De Valli, 47, Kaitaia, cervical cancer

“You hear of people getting cancer around you and you never think that one day you will be [diagnosed]. If it wasn’t for the Cancer Society I wouldn’t have a place to stay when I come to Auckland for treatment, I don’t think we could afford it.”

To make a Daffodil Day donation to New Zealand’s Cancer Society, visit

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