The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation’s 2012 Breast Cancer Action Month campaign, launched today, features a new recording of Chris Knox’s iconic Kiwi ballad Not Given Lightly, and a music video starring famous and not-so-famous New Zealanders who want to remind the women they love to be vigilant and reduce their risk of breast cancer.
The Our Women campaign (www.ourwomen.co.nz) aims to reach every woman in New Zealand with the help of Facebook sharing and a TV commercial fronted by former TV presenter Helena McAlpine, who has terminal breast cancer.
"Before I die, I want to get a message to every woman in the country that they need to look after themselves and their friends and family," said McAlpine, who was originally diagnosed in 2008 at age 31. "Watch the video, hear the song and pass it on."
The new recording of Not Given Lightly, includes the voices of Tim Finn, Brooke Fraser, Jon Toogood, Alec Bathgate, Princess Chelsea, The Topp Twins, The Naked and Famous’s Alisa Xayalith, Peter Urlich, Hollie Smith and more. The recording is available on iTunes.
The accompanying music video, which can be viewed - and shared with Facebook friends - at www.ourwomen.co.nz, was directed by filmmaker Toa Fraser, best-known for the movies No. 2 and Dean Spanley. It features a mix of stars and ordinary New Zealanders with the women they love (present either in person or in photographic portraits). Familiar faces in the video include Sam Neill, Sir Graham and Raewyn Henry, Dick and Jude Frizzell, The Topp Twins with their parents, artist Karl Maughan, ballerina Lucy Balfour, Shortland Street star Shavaughn Ruakere and others (see attached cast list). The video also features nurses from Starship Hospital, and the Auckland Girls Choir.
"We’ve been blown away by the generosity of those who took the time to perform the song or appear in the video," said Evangelia (Van) Henderson, CEO of The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. "We’ve had some of New Zealand’s top production people give their time and talent for free. I believe that thanks to their efforts, and to Helena’s amazing openness in talking about her illness, we stand a good chance of reaching every woman in New Zealand with the message about reducing their risk of dying from breast cancer."
Henderson said The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation has an important role to play in this communication, as women need to monitor their breast health from age 20, well before the mammogram screening age. In all, 2800 New Zealand women are likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. While over 70% of will be aged 50-plus, around 370 women aged 20-44 (below the BreastScreen Aotearoa screening age of 45-69) will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Cancers in younger women are often more aggressive than post-menopausal cancers.
"Plus, we’re telling women it’s never too soon to adopt the lifestyle changes that will reduce breast cancer risk," Henderson said. Studies show that keeping alcohol consumption to moderate levels (one drink a day), staying fit and maintaining a healthy body weight, particularly after menopause, can help reduce risk.
These recommendations and others are available online at www.ourwomen.co.nz
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