Teal Pants funds used in new screening programme

It’s been confirmed that the just completed Teal Pants campaign has raised $44,000.

For six weeks the country’s female drivers (Team Teal) were all involved in the campaign which raises awareness of ovarian cancer and funds for research.

When it finished at Reefton on Sunday March 14 there had been 65 wins, with Harness Racing New Zealand and Woodlands Stud committing $100 for each win, with various clubs and individuals also making huge contributions.

Collectors were at many meetings too with race-goers and licence-holders very generous in their support of the project.

Teal Pants is a trans-Tasman initiative set up by Australian Duncan McPherson after his wife died from ovarian cancer. This year was the fourth Teal Pants campaign in this country and all money raised here is spent here as well.

This year’s total of $44,000 is down slightly on last year ($50,000) but is still being hailed as a success considering the restraints brought about by the Covid pandemic. The campaign has succeeded in bringing the issue of ovarian cancer into the open and this year awareness was very much the focus of the campaign.

So how are the proceeds allocated?

WomenCan, which partners with HRNZ during the Teal Pants campaign, says the New Zealand funds have contributed to the first phase of a new innovative screening program called NOVEL.

“NOVEL will enable tumour profiling for New Zealand women with high grade serous ovarian cancer, which will allow them rapid access to participate in specific international clinical trials.” says Associate Professor Bryony Simcock, Gynaecological Oncologist and ANZGOG member.

In New Zealand this year 300 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer where the chance of surviving beyond the five year cancer benchmark is 39%. NOVEL has the potential to benefit up to 90 per cent of women with ovarian cancer in the future.

“Nearly every improvement in cancer treatment has resulted from a clinical trial. Woman needs access to the latest innovative research in the hope it will improve their outcomes. When a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer she feels overwhelmed and alone,” says Karen Livingstone AM, Head of Fundraising and Development for WomenCan.

“ The support shown by the Harness Racing New Zealand community to fund more research and resources for these women is so appreciated and valued. Thank you to everyone involved.”

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