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Member stories: Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand

We asked MA Members to share how they've adapted to a world struck by COVID-19 through kindness, business pivots and customer care.

Read on to find out how Leukaemia & Blood Cancer NZ have re-invented their services to continue to support families affected by blood cancer.

Virus or no virus -we know that seven Kiwis will be diagnosed with a blood cancer today and seven more tomorrow - cancer doesn't stop. These patients are already living under a dark cloud of worry and uncertainty - we know they will need us more than ever over the coming months.

However, under the current lockdown and at least until we get to Level 1, we can no longer have any face to face contact with the patients, families, caregivers and whanau living with blood cancer in New Zealand. That means that even with the essential service approval, no hospital visits, no support groups, educational seminars, Kids Club or 1:1 catch-ups.

So we have gone on-line quickly, re-inventing our services and in doing so have been busier than ever! What have we done? Changes include:

  • Regular Q&A Zoom sessions for patients, providing extra support for our most vulnerable as well as increasing our contact by phone text and email
  • Secured priority assistance online shopping for patients so they can beat the queues and get quicker deliveries
  • Ramped up the communication on our private Facebook groups - we've seen a lot more replies and new members joining
  • Running local and nationwide online seminars with some fantastic speakers willing to share their knowledge with our patients and their families
  • Connecting with youth stuck in hospital by running interactive sessions - our Support Services Manager also plays Fortnite with youngsters and through this has some great chats
  • Holding virtual health education for nurses who are new to cancer and presenting to medical students doing an Adolescent cancer paper at Auckland University
  • Hosting Mindfulness Mondays and Wellness Wednesdays - Zoom sessions with therapeutic specialists

Yup, we've been busy. We've pivoted to meet the new normal and have really made the most of new technology. We have some huge fundraising challenges ahead - but that's another story and in the meantime, we are keeping in touch with those that need us wherever they are in New Zealand.

To support Leukaemia & Blood Cancer NZ's important work, donate here.

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