September 25, 2009 by Jim Tucker | Edit
PROSTABLOG NZ: It’s a powerful way to get the message about prostate cancer death across to people – 600 blue crosses laid out on the forecourt of the country’s national museum.
But not everyone noticed.
In fact some people walked right through the crosses outside Te Papa Museum in Wellington, one man road his bike over them – and a press photographer insisted on standing in the middle of them to get his shot.
The majority of passersby, however, looked where they were going and paid due respect to the graphic reminder there are 600 prostate cancer deaths in NZ each year.
Many stopped at the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ stand to get their faces painted.
A brief moments’ silence was orchestrated by Rev Wiremu Herbert, a chaplain from Wellington Hospital.
He has officiated at 10 tangi in Wellington this year for Maori men who have died of the disease.
A few words were said to the crowd who’d gathered by the co-chair of the Wellington branch of the PCF, Doreen Morrison.
Some people took the opportunity to write on the crosses the names of loved ones who have been lost to the cancer.
(In my case, I wrote the name of renowned Wellington journalist and editor Frank Haden, who died a few years ago).
In what was a coup for the foundation, Parliament agreed to fly two Blue September/PCF flags on the flagpoles outside the Beehive and Parliament buildings.
Fitting timing, given the first hearing for the Health Select Committee inquiry into prostate cancer was held this week.
Blue Friday events were held around the country, with schools and businesses urged to encourage students and staff to come to work in blue clothing and paint their faces in the now-familiar Blue September paint.
With just a few days to go of the second-ever Blue September in NZ, organisers MWCMedia and the Prostate Cancer Foundation are declaring the initiative a major success, with awareness of the disease raised everywhere.
In one special Blue September project, a team of urologists and media flew to the Chatham Islands from Wellington today to talk to the male population and offer free tests to men.
According to a health worker on the island, Joe Tapara, there are about 153 eligible men, 67% of them Maori and/or Moriori. He knows of three cases of prostate cancer on the island.
Asked how they react to the offer of prostate tests, he said: “Not very keen. As soon as they get symptoms, they’re keen.”
Porirua gets the prostate awareness message from one of NZ’s best-known PC survivors
PROSTABLOG NZ: SEPTEMBER 18: Former All Black captain Buck Shelford (right) took the message about being checked for prostate cancer to a gathering of builders, customers and staff at Porirua Placemakers early Friday.
“There was much embarrassing amusement about ‘the finger’ amongst the men, of course,” says Ian Morrison, Wellington branch chairman for the NZ Prostate Cancer Foundatio.
Attending a barbeque organised by Placemakers, Buck autographed three rugby balls, which were auctioned, signed some teeshirts, and talked to people.
Then eight brave men and a woman submitted to the clippers and lost their locks for the cause.
Plenty of funds were raised for prostate cancer awareness, says Ian.
Wellington dawn walk gets some media covcrage
THE WELLINGTONIAN: SEPTEMBER 18: A story and picture reporting Sunday’s Blue September dawn walk appear in today’s edition of one of the Wellington city community newspapers, The Wellingtonian. Big thanks to editor Joseph Romanos.
PROSTABLOG NZ: Blue September has gathered some real momentum around NZ over the last week or so.
Go to the Blue September website to see pictures, videos and stories of what’s been happening. CLICK HERE>
Perfect Wellington dawn for Dawn Walk to remember
- FACE ART: Neel and Kate’
PROSTABLOG NZ: Dozens turned out to a perfect Wellington dawn today to walk in remembrance of those who have died from prostate cancer.
They took part in the Capital city’s Blue September Dawn Walk, one of three around the country organised by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ to boost prostate cancer awareness.
SEE slide show of pictures HERE>
The walkers started from a stand outside Freyberg Pool on Oriental Parade and trekked around one of the scenic paths on the city side of Mt Victoria, a leisurely hour-long trek.
They included young people who had lost relatives to the disease, and several men who have undergone treatment, one as recently as six weeks ago.
- Urologist Rodney Studd..
For two of the walkers (including this writer), it was a chance to compare notes about recent surgery.
Then, by coincidence, the surgeon who did both operations earlier this year, Rodney Studd, happened along on a walk with his children.
Like most of the participants, Rod had his face adorned with a couple of blue koru by walk organiser Geoff Burton, of MWC Media.
- Lene Sipil at Parade Cafe
The bravest man of the day was John Russell.
He was walking into the nearby pool in just his togs when he agreed to endure the early morning chill to have his body and face decorated.
One of the most popular men was Lene Sipili, manager of the Parade Cafe, over the street from the Freyberg Pool.
He and his staff served free coffees for all those who took part in the morning event.
For Paula and her dog Annie, attending the walk was something of an accident – she thought it was a rally for Corgis.
Geoff Burton made sure the friendly Corgi got into the spirit of the morning – with a blue stripe on her head, just out of reach of her tongue.
Walks were also staged in Auckland, starting from Totara Park in Manurewa, and in Napier, where the dawn was delayed to a more leisurely 10am.
For more video of today’s Wellington walk, CLICK HERE>
- DAWN DAWNS: Setting up for the walk.
- DAWN WALKING: The Wellington strollers set off along Oriental Parade.
- PROSTATE DOGS – no, actually, they’re all females.
Blue September off to a roaring start – literally
AUGUST 29: PROSTABLOG NZ: Blue September got off to a roar – literally – at Kaiwharawhara Placemakers in Wellington – thanks to the throaty sounds of a Cobra sports car.
Darren (no surname please – someone might steal the car) and partner Deanne (she has one, too) turned out at the Placemakers carpark this morning to help publicise Blue September, which has awareness events going on throughout NZ for the next month.
Darren (shown at right helping Jeff Clode into the cockpit) – who’s just reached 40 and will get his first PSA test soon – is a prominent member of the Cobra Club of NZ.
Other members’ cars are out in force in various parts of the country to take the prostate screening message to as many people as possible.
Darren – whose Cobra 454 is the last one made by fabled Cobra builder Graham Berry, and is pushed along by a 600 horse power V8 – has a reward he wants to give men who get themselves screened in September.
Anyone who can show they’ve been to a GP for testing will go into a draw for a fast trip in the Cobra to the Rimutaka Hill and back.
The only condition is they pick a fine day: the Cobra does not go out in the wet.
Apart from drawing the attention of visitors to Placemakers, Darren’s machine caused a gleam in the eye of one staff member.
David Cobbett (pictured above) sidled over during a break to drool – and show his collection of car drawings.
David is so accomplished, Darren (who runs a sign-writing business) said he was sure he could find him some work.
The Cobras turned out in numbers in Christchurch, as shown here:
- Christchurch Prostate Cancer Foundation member Ans Parder shows defiance.
- Placemakers’ David Cobbett behind the wheel in Wellington – above and below.
- Darren (left), with Jeff Clode at the wheel.
- Where 600 horses reside.
- Deanna in Darren’s Cobra – but she also has one of her own.
- Darren and machine.
- Ian Morrison pretends he’s not scared.
- Lin Tucker decides this is for her.
- Doreen Morrison has the right shades.
- Jim Tucker imagining he’s young enough to drive this beast.
- COBRA at Wellington Kaiwharawhara Placemakers, from left: Darren, Lin Tucker, Doreen and Ian Morrison, and Deanna.
Blue September Calls To Face Up To Prostate Cancer
Monday, 24 August 2009, 2:20 pm
Press Release: Blue September
The Prostate Cancer Foundation is about to launch Blue September – a major awareness and fund raising campaign – for its second year running and it has fast gained momentum.
September is international Prostate Cancer awareness month and has become a key focus for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand in publicizing the dangers of the disease, encouraging men to get checked and raising funds for on-going work for prostate cancer in New Zealand.
This year Blue September is again fronted and supported by a group of high profile New Zealanders:
• Paul Holmes
• Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford
• Stu Wilson
• Ruben Wiki
• Sir Richard Hadlee
• Peter Leitch (The Mad Butcher) new-comers this year
• Kerre Woodham (broadcaster) and
• Neemia Tialata (current All Black)
These celebrities appear in the Blue September television commercials running throughout September with their faces painted blue and will also be available for various media interviews and events.
Speaking about the campaign legendary former New Zealand all rounder cricketer Sir Richard Hadlee, aged 58, says:
‘Blokes aren’t good at talking about Prostate Cancer to their doctor or even to their friends. You have to ask yourself how many guys could have been saved in the past if they’d only been aware of the dangers and done something about it? So get real and get blue this September!”
Each year, over 2,500 men in New Zealand are diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 600 die from the disease. Half of these deaths might have been prevented by early detection, so Blue September is encouraging men to face up to prostate cancer and get checked!
100% of donations to Blue September and funds raised at events will go directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The Prostate Cancer Foundation is proactive in developing public education and awareness programmes, developing a nationwide network of branch support groups; prostate cancer research projects right through to the lobbying of central government on matters relating to this disease, and donations will be used to continue these activities.
The key message that Barry Young, President of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, hopes to communicate through Blue is for men to get regular checks from the age of 40. In early stages of prostate cancer it does not usually have symptoms so you won’t know unless you get checked.
Throughout September donations can be made online.
Information, Fact sheets and competitions can be found at http://www.blueseptember.org
The event line-up includes a Cobra Car Tour up the country, a Blue-tie Cocktail Launch Event at SKYCITY on August 30th of September with the Sky Tower turning Blue for the month, Father’s Day ‘Give Your Dad the Finger for Father’s Day promotion’ on September 6th, a number of Dawn Walks on September 13th, Blue Friday on September 25th and SKYCITY’s ‘The Challenge of the Codes’ poker tournament on September 29th.