Press Release – Suzuki
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Four highly efficient Suzuki Splash five-door hatchbacks are helping spread the awareness of leukaemia and blood cancer in New Zealand. The Splash cars have joined Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand and are being used by the registered charity’s support services staff in Auckland, the Waikato, Wellington and Christchurch.
“We are delighted these practical Suzukis are providing much needed transport for our representatives, and although they have only just gone into service, they are already creating considerable attention,” said Pru Etcheverry, chief executive officer of Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC).
The 1.2-litre fuel-efficient Splash models are being driven by trained haematology nurses who are on the road visiting patients and families across New Zealand.
Last year the nurses covered more than 48,000 kilometres, and the arrival of the Suzuki Splashes will further enhance the mobility of the staff.
The sign written Suzukis are also increasing the awareness of the illness and the fact that LBC is available for help and support.
“Increased awareness of our services means people know who to contact if they or a loved one is diagnosed with a blood cancer or related condition,” said Pru Etcheverry.
The Splashes will also appear at high profile LBC events such as the Firefighters Sky Tower Stair Challenge and 100 Hole Golf Marrowthon.
Each year about 2,200 New Zealanders are diagnosed with a blood cancer – or six children and adults every day.
Blood cancers affect anybody, any age, any time, and blood cancers have the third highest mortality rate amongst cancers in New Zealand.
Leukaemia is the most common cancer in children, accounting for more than half of all cancers. Lymphoma is also the most common cancer in young people aged between 15 and 24 years.
“LBC is a national organisation that doesn’t receive government funding and we are pleased to be able to support such a worthwhile charity,” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand. “It is estimated there are over 10,000 people living with a blood cancer such as leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood condition in New Zealand.”
To ease the burden caused by these diseases, the LBC team has more than 9,000 interactions with patients, families and health professionals, and holds at least 70 education and support group meetings throughout New Zealand.
“We have recently appointed a new support services coordinator to specifically service the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions and the arrival of the new Splash is providing much needed transport in these areas,” said Pru Etcheverry. “Our work is made possible through our own fundraising initiatives and donations.”
Funding for research is vitally important to find out what causes blood cancers, how to treat them and how they impact patients.
LBC services include the availability of disease and age group specific booklets and picture books, translated booklets in nine languages, on-line education materials, a resource library, DVDs and You Tube educational materials.
The charity works on behalf of patients and represents their needs to the government and other related and relevant agencies.
LBC says early diagnosis often means a better outcome for patients, and the branding of the Suzuki Splash cars will help in the cause to build better public awareness of these diseases and their symptoms.