by Gloria Eggeling, Pūkenga Manaaki / Whānau Navigator
What an amazing night we had in Motueka on the 17th May to discuss and support whānau with knowledge and kōrero on a very difficult subject, "cancer".
We started the evening with a karakia by Uncle Tahi Takao who filled in very gracefully as Uncle Andy was unable to attend through being unwell.
We were then entertained by the Te Kapa Haka o Te Āwhina Marae group who are currently getting ready for the regional competitions in Nelson. There was some amazing harmonies and beautiful waiata which we enjoyed.
We also had the group Sylo perform in the second half of the programme and some of these whānau were well in their 80’s. Awesome fun and great old favourite songs. This group gets together weekly in Tokomaru and is part of a group of people with compromised breathing and has numbers of almost 30 members supported by the District Nurses.
We had several guest speakers, Melissa Cragg discussed the Cancer Pathways in context to Māori with the recent statistics released in a presentation by Dr. Jason Gurney from Victoria University who reported on the statistics for Māori and the population ratio for the different types of cancer.
Angela Briggs and Kylie from Breast Screening Aotearoa discussed the breast screening programme and outlined what a mammogram involves and the expected changes to them raising the age to 70 years.
Michelle Hunt from the Cancer Society discussed the services offered in Nelson and Motueka, the funding and the programmes that they run to support survivors of cancer. Also how they support whānau who have to travel outside the region for radiology, with accommodation, travel and all sorts of supported help during and after treatment.
The next part of the programme was ”whānau stories”. These whānau shared their personal journeys by video link or spoke live to the audience. I can only speak from my perspective; the stories they shared were sad, inspiring, personal and very very moving. Thank you whānau you really touched a lot of people's hearts.
In the second half, Miraka Norgate spoke about the Quit smoking programme and support for whānau in the region. There were a lot of handouts given out to whānau.
Janice and Gillian spoke about the new Bowel Screening programme in Nelson and how they make the selections on who was going to be screened and how to do this process. Most people thought the bowel screen was much easier than anticipated and ”very simple they say.”
Cushla Arnott from District Nursing spoke about their role as Palliative Care nurses in the community supporting cancer and the Hospice home care.
Carla Arkless talked about Advance Care Planning (ACP) on the importance of writing down what you want in the eventuality of health crisis or death. She showed a great whānau video on ACP to conclude the evening.