Dry July 2024 returns to support Kiwis affected by cancer

More than 7,500 Kiwis took a stand against cancer last July by spending 31 days without alcohol and raising over $1.2 million. Today, the Dry July campaign launches again, calling for even more people to join the cause and make a difference to the lives of thousands of New Zealanders living with cancer.

This year, the Dry July NZ Trust is stressing the high demand for cancer support with more Kiwis developing cancer, due to the population increasing and people living longer.

This year, Dry July invites participants to reflect on their ‘Why’ – the reason behind their commitment to going alcohol-free for the month of July. Funds raised through Dry July directly support non-medical services for cancer patients designed to work alongside their treatment and navigate life beyond diagnoses.

Dry July is committed to supporting three cancer charities; Look Good Feel Better, Prostate Cancer Foundation New Zealand and PINC & STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Foundation. These organisations deliver specific programmes tailored to the needs of cancer patients, their whānau and close networks, thanks to the generosity of Dry July participants.

Look Good Feel Better provides a programme of free wellbeing sessions for anyone with any cancer to help them navigate their new normal, Prostate Cancer Foundation offers education, support, and advocacy for patients and families affected by prostate cancer, and PINC & STEEL deliver rehabilitation programmes led by certified oncology physiotherapists to help cancer patients with physical, emotional, and social support.  

“We are so grateful to see the impact of Dry July funds,” says Lou James, Founder and General Manager of PINC & STEEL. “The 102% growth in our group programmes has enabled us to reach more Kiwis affected by cancer, letting them engage with life once more.”

“Cancer can be an isolating experience, but we see the life-changing effects our group sessions have on people first-hand,” says Lou.

Clare O’Higgins, General Manager of Look Good Feel Better says the charity is grateful to those who fundraise in Dry July.

“Dry July funding helped Look Good Feel Better grow its programme offering by more than 45% last year alone, and from four online options in 2020 to 12 options – increasing the range to include skin, hair, body, and mind options so participants can choose an array of sessions to suit them.

“In 2020 Look Good Feel Better offered 42 online classes – in 2023 the charity offered more than 130 online classes.

“On average, every 22 minutes, another New Zealander receives the life-changing news: ‘you have cancer’. That’s potentially more than 2,200 people in July alone and over 26,000 people each year. Navigating this new reality can be overwhelming. Our goal is to restore people’s confidence and make them feel like a person again, not a patient,” Clare says.

Peter Dickens, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ, highlights the difference the right support can make to the quality of life of people who have been treated, or who are living with, prostate cancer. “It’s in these areas that the support of Dry July really comes into its own by enabling the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ to get men moving – through its nationwide network of exercise classes, known as Prost-FIT,” he says. 

The impact of Dry July extends beyond the health benefits of those who take part – it provides vital support and rehabilitation programmes to New Zealanders at all stages of their cancer journey. By going alcohol-free for a month, participants also experience personal health benefits, including improved sleep and energy levels.

Registrations for Dry July 2024 are now open and every contribution makes a difference. Visit www.dryjuly.co.nz to get involved.

For updates, follow Dry July on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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