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In New Zealand, Daffodil Day has become synonomous with Cancer since 1990. It's raised millions of dollars over the past thirty years toward cancer research, prevention, treatment and support, providing a crucial lifeline to those affected. Daffodil lapel 'pins' have been sold in retail centres, while bunches of fresh Daffodils are sold to homes and businesses to raise further funds. Key among Daffodil Day activities is to raise awareness and remember those whose lives have been affected by Cancer.
Daffodils were first used to promote cancer awareness in Canada over six decades ago. The Daffodil is the first flower of Spring to bloom, and is associated with renewal and hope. It's vibrant colour reminds us of the sun, life and happiness, again connected to hope and optimism.
There are many ways we acknowledge Daffodil Day. The Cancer Society website has ways to donate directly online, and order bunches of fresh Daffodils for your home or business, and they also run a phone campaign in the months leading up to Daffodil Day. Some businesses and individuals get creative on Daffodil Day, baking Daffodil cupcakes or running a Daffodil Day quiz - fundraising ideas are limitless.
Daffodil Day is also used to encourage volunteer participation, as volunteers are needed throughout the year. This may include assisting with fundraising, driving cancer patients to treatment or appointments, and assisting with the street appeal (selling Daffodil pins to the public).
Current cancer rates in New Zealand suggest that 2 out of every 5 people in New Zealand will develop some type of cancer in their lifetime, a rate that is increasing due to lifestyle factors. The good news is that early detection and better treatments means better outcomes for those diagnosed. With those numbers, it's likely you'll have a personal experience or someone close to you that will be directly affected. Daffodil Day reminds us all that the fight against Cancer, and the support of cancer patients is something that should concern every one of us.
Every dollar raised for Daffodil Day will go towards cancer care for patients and their whānau, education and awareness programmes, and life-saving cancer research.
Daffodil Day is global, and many countries across the world have 'Daffodil Day' for the same reasons we do in New Zealand. Obviously with the northern hemisphere having their 'Spring' while we have our Autumn, Daffodil Day for many is in March whilst ours (and that of Australia, South Africa and other southern hemisphere countries) is in August.
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