Saving Kiwi women from cervical cancerHome » Blog » Annabel McAleer » Saving Kiwi women from cervical cancer
The WONS charity has been saving Kiwi women's lives for 21 years. It's celebrating its birthday with a ball.
If it wasn't for a smear test a decade ago, I might not be here right now. It identified high-grade cervical dysplasia—the step before cell abnormalities turn into cancer. I had to have surgery that time … and it wasn't to be the first time I got a scary phone call about an abnormal result. I'm still in my early 30s, and I reckon I've had more pap smears than most 60-year-olds. Lucky me, eh?!
No, really: luckily, these days it's easy for doctors to find trouble before trouble really starts. And I was lucky to have it drummed into me at a younger age that smears are just something a woman does every few years, and that there are no cultural barriers making it harder for me to go to the doctor for a smear. Otherwise, my health today might be very different.
Many other women aren't so lucky. Every year 4,500 New Zealand women develop 'carcinoma in situ'; about 25% of these cases go undetected and develop into cervical cancer.
Maori, Pacific and Asian women in particular find it hard to access health care screening. That results in Maori and Pacific women being far more likely to die from cervical and breast cancer than other ethnic groups.
Women's charity WONS Nursing, Education and Health Promotion Service has been working for 21 years to help these women. WONS takes mobile van clinics into high-need communities, and nurses offer cervical screening, breast and STD checks—sometimes in womens' own homes. The service saves many lives.
WONS also provides women’s health care courses for unemployed women, designed to empower and teach them about important health issues. It also offers support in hospitals to women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Established in 1989 by Ruth Davy, WONS is now 21 years old and it's celebrating with a May Day Ball:
WONS May Day Charity Ball
Saturday May 21st
Auckland Museum Events Centre
At 6:30pm guests will be welcomed onto the red carpet with a glass of bubbly by fabulous hosts Buckwheat & Tess who will set the mood for a vibrant evening. Witty radio host Alison Leonard will play MC through the event and oversee the exciting charity auction. Wellington based Kiwi songstress Iva Lamkum and her band will entertain guests with their funky beats and soulful melodies. While Jo Cotton and the Mermaids will get everyone’s feet tapping and no doubt have guests out of their seats and onto the dance floor but not before guests are treated to a 3 course meal with accompanying wine thanks to Matua Wines.
Auction Prizes – Include Grab a Seat flights and holiday packages, New Zealand Herald advertising, beauty and stylist packages, Westfield shopping vouchers, life coaching and heaps more.
Goodie Bags – Every guest will be treated to a luxury handmade goodie bag containing beauty treats thanks to Maybelline, a spa voucher, coffee voucher and more.