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Mucking in: Sweet
Louise support co-
Collins and Gen-i
Mikkelsen get to
work on breast
By MARYKE PENMAN
Go to north
to hear more about
Put your clocks forward an hour on
Sunday morning. Daylight saving starts.
HAVING someone to spring clean
or do the gardening would be wel-
come relief for anyone. But it's a
lifeline for women struggling with
incurable breast cancer.
Albany mother of nine Gaynor
McEnaney, 50, has secondary
breast cancer meaning she no
longer has the strength for routine
tasks around the home.
Thanks to Sweet Louise, a char-
ity that provides services and sup-
port for those living with secondary
breast cancer, women like Ms
McEnaney no longer have to sweat
the small stuff.
Sweet Louise members joined
staff from IT firm Gen-i during the
last week of September to
makeover gardens and spring clean
for women with breast cancer.
Gen-i staff were given a day of
paid leave to join the team of help-
ers on their annual Telecom Foun-
dation Volunteer for a Day.
Sweet Louise support coordi-
nator Sally Collins and Gen-i
employee Greg Mikkelsen spent a
morning overhauling Ms
Five years ago Ms McEnaney
was first diagnosed with breast
cancer. She had a mastectomy and
a round of Tamoxifen, and hoped
that was the last she would hear of
it.But in June 2010 she was told
she had secondary breast cancer.
She has since undergone bone
treatments and is now taking oral
Initially I thought oh my god,
I'm not going to be here for my
kids'. I couldn't cope with it. But
Sweet Louise and staff at the hos-
pital made me realise that it's not
The support Sweet Louise has
given her children, Ms McEnaney
says has been a true highlight.
Meeting other kids with parents
going through similar things has
been a big help for them. We get
shouted tickets to the movies and
go to meetings where we have the
support of other people in the same
Sometimes it's hard because
people see me and I look all right,
but when you're feeling sick you
don't want to say you're unwell.
But there they are, the only ones
that really understand.''
Around 2700 New Zealanders
are diagnosed with breast cancer
every year. Sweet Louise supports
95 per cent of women with second-
ary breast cancer.
It offers counselling, therapies,
beauty treatments, childcare, home
help, transport and more to its
On the road to recovery
Caring helpers: Telecom
workers, from left: Kristie
Hale and Lisa Bowd on
either side of Tania
Lambrechtse, who is
recovering from a brain
Jacoba ''Coby'' Lambrechtse and
daughter Tania of Orewa have had a
difficult time lately.
Tania had a brain tumour
removed six years ago.
Coby, who just celebrated her
75th birthday, was healthy until she
turned 60. She was diagnosed with
bowel cancer and recovered,
survived a heart attack and then
three years ago was diagnosed with
breast cancer. She had part of her
breast removed and seemed to be
recovering well but last year a scan
revealed the cancer had spread to
Tania says Coby is looking better
than ever now but over Christmas
last year she went through
numerous rounds of chemotherapy.
She takes Herceptin and as long as
she takes her medicine it seems
she's able to keep her cancer at
Coby has another daughter,
Wilma, and grandson Martin, 14,
who live nearby in Whangaparaoa.
Husband Cees died two years
ago. He had Parkinson's disease
and was cared for at Maygrove
Cees was a postie, handyman,
had a bread run and worked in the
boatbuilding and fibreglass
industries. He was always
supported by Coby and the couple
started an embroidery business
which Wilma still operates. Coby
continues to be creative, making
necklaces, shoes and other crafts.
Tania says making her 75th
birthday on September 17 was a
real highlight for Coby. Getting their
garden done was another.
''The physical stuff is really
difficult for us,'' Tania says. ''So
help like this is awesome. Plus I
don't have a green thumb.''
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