Georgie Sanders

A volunteering and fundraising veteran for Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, Georgie decided to try something different when it came to Pink Ribbon Breakfast. She set herself the challenge of walking 3,300 minutes, which equates to 55 hours, over the month of May, which she says she learnt is a lot of hours! Breast cancer is a cause close to her heart, after her mum was diagnosed after finding a lump 10 years ago.

My family has been through breast cancer and mum received lots of support, so I want to give back. There is a huge number of Kiwi women affected every year, so it’s important they’re all able to access the same support, services and resources.

I’ve been involved with Breast Cancer Foundation NZ every year for more than 10 years, through hosting Pink Ribbon Breakfasts, and then being an area coordinator for the Pink Ribbon Street Appeal in Remuera.

I saw on the website that you don’t actually have to do a breakfast to fundraise during Pink Ribbon Breakfast month which spurred me to think of something new.

I decided on walking 3,300 minutes over the month, which at the time symbolised the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer every year (it has since increased), with a goal of raising $3,300. People have been incredibly generous, and I’ve already surpassed my target.

On weekdays, I walked for one hour in the morning, then one and half hours in the evening. I kept the routes simple, through Cornwall Park or along Tāmaki Drive.

It’s safe to say I’ve gone through a lot of podcasts and a lot of music! But the walks have also provided a really good opportunity to reflect on my day.

Lots of my friends have joined me on my ventures, and on weekends, walking has become the perfect way to catch up with my girlfriends! We usually walked along Tāmaki Drive, into the city and back again with takes about three hours.

Not only do we save money, but we get to spend time with each other too.

I’m a very active person and already really enjoyed walking but I typically walk fast. So this challenge, because it was about getting in the hours, forced me to slow down and be more mindful.

The number of hours sounded daunting at the beginning but being able to spread them out over the month definitely made the challenge more flexible, and easier to manage.

While I used the time to be active, catch up with friends and to fundraise for a great cause, I’ve always kept in mind why I’m doing this and that is spreading the message of breast cancer awareness.

Even though my girlfriends and I are in our late 20s, breast cancer doesn’t discriminate in age, and we are not immune. Being breast aware, knowing our normal and self-checking is absolutely key.