hannon Smith is no stranger to the anguish and grief of seeing someone you love suffering
and dying of cancer. Her partner was just 30, when he died of testicular cancer. Shannon is
passionate about men getting tested regularly, about not putting off going to the doctor and
to not ignore symptoms. September is the month dedicated to raising the awareness
of prostate cancer and raising funds to help improve the outcomes of the 42,000 men and
their families who live with prostate cancer in New Zealand.
Harcourts Whitianga has decided to do their part to get involved and organise a
blue event for Mercury Bay. Shannon, their Whitianga property manager, is leading the
way. “When you look at some of the statistics, it is actually shocking that so many men are
going through this cancer in New Zealand,” says Shannon. “It is hard to raise this topic
with men but perhaps our Blue September event will encourage more conversation.
We are organising a charity auction at our Harcourts premises in Albert Street on Friday,
23 September. All monies raised on the day go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation NZ (PCFNZ).”
Shannon says, “We have approached the businesses in town regarding items to be
auctioned and we have had a great response. We have a licensed auctioneer who will
host and auction the items to add to the spice of the afternoon and evening. The auction
will commence at 4pm and before hand and after, there will be drinks and nibbles and a
very welcoming social atmosphere. We look forward to people coming, ready to be generous
and wear a little ‘blue’ to the occasion.”
There will also be information available on prostate cancer for everyone. We want men to
get diagnosed early - prostate cancer can be treated successfully, adds Shannon.
The Foundation’s CEO, Peter Dickens says, “One in eight men will get prostate cancer in
their lifetime.” It’s extremely frustrating and should be an issue of national concern in New
Zealand that despite all evidence pointing to early detection and appropriate treatment
making the difference between life and death, methods of detecting the disease, treatments
and medicines for prostate cancer patients that are considered standard and funded in other
countries are severely limited here, or even non-existent outside of the main centres.”
Peter says, “ The truth is that we need to be getting all men over 50 to chat to their doctor
about prostate cancer, insist on a programme of PSA testing appropriate to them.” The
Foundation is 100% funded by donors and receives no direct government funding.
“Do something blue this September,” says Shannon. “Come and be part of the Charity
If you have some goods or services, then drop them into Shannon at the Harcourts
Office or contact her. Friday, 23 September, 4.00pm