20042022 News Photo: TOM LEE/STUFF - A new Breast Cancer Foundation Op store opens in Hamilton.  LR Jenni Scarlet Marie S 79 blue top Robyn 67 , Sharyn Carwood Keith Hitchcock 73 Birgitta Eshuis 62 Lynley Gilchrist 63

TOM LEE/STUFF/Waikato Times

20042022 News Photo: TOM LEE/STUFF – A new Breast Cancer Foundation Op store opens in Hamilton. LR Jenni Scarlet Marie S 79 blue top Robyn 67 , Sharyn Carwood Keith Hitchcock 73 Birgitta Eshuis 62 Lynley Gilchrist 63

When people walk through the doors of the first Breast Cancer Foundation store with donations, there is often a story behind them.

“When people come to donate to you if you take the time to talk to them, they’ll say this is my [relative’s] things, and they died of breast cancer,” said manager Sharyn Cawood.

“Everyone here, when you go around and talk to the volunteers, most of them can tell you a story.”

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Over 600 New Zealanders lose their lives each year to breast cancer.

70% of those diagnosed are women, of whom about 80% who die from it are 50 years or older according to data from the Ministry of Health.

Cawood’s younger sister, Maree, was one of those who died of the disease.

For 14 years during her battle with cancer, her sister was supported by the Breast Cancer Research Trust, and so 11 years later she wanted to give something back by running their first Hamilton CBD store.

“My sister passed away 11 years ago from breast cancer, and she was only 50, so it was a huge journey that family and friends have been on.

“She left behind three children who are now adults, but it was a big thing for the family, it was huge… It’s part of the motivation, you know, because it’s personal,” he said. she stated.

Store manager Sharyn Carwood (73) lost her sister to breast cancer 11 years ago.  She hopes the store will become a place where their volunteers feel welcomed and supported, and where greater breast cancer awareness can be shared with the community.

TOM LEE/STUFF/Waikato Times

Store manager Sharyn Carwood (73) lost her sister to breast cancer 11 years ago. She hopes the store will become a place where their volunteers feel welcomed and supported, and where greater breast cancer awareness can be shared with the community.

Jenni Scarlet has been a secretary and research nurse for the Breast Cancer Research Trust since its inception 20 years ago.

She said their first Op Shop, at 750 Victoria Street, would be helpful both in generating more funding, but also in promoting discussion about breast cancer detection.

“We talk about risks, so in breast cancer, the two main risk factors are being a woman and getting older, more than 75% of breast cancers are diagnosed in women… the other risk factors that are being talked about are the breast cancer genes, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes,” Scarlet said.

“This will be a great opportunity to promote early detection through breast screening and in terms of better treatment developed through research that contributes to better outcomes for women.”

Thrift stores of the breast cancer foundation were now in greater demand for funding new research.

Especially with the impacts of Covid 19 on events and fundraising, Cawood said, Op Shops were needed more than ever.

She aspired to see the Op Shop store not only become a place for recycled products, but where the community could become more aware of the importance of breast cancer prevention.

“Hopefully there will be more awareness in the community and why we are doing this, it raises awareness for early detection, that would be the main thing.

“There’s a lot more to come if I can keep the energy up,” she said.

The Op Shop is currently accepting appropriate donations with 100% of proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Foundation.