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Our supporters stories

Jenni Scarlet

Jenni Scarlet understands that research is the best weapon in the fight against breast cancer through her own first hand experience. And now, Jenni has chosen to continue supporting the Breast Cancer Research Trust (BCRT) beyond her lifetime by leaving a bequest in her will. Jenni’s generosity will contribute to gaining knowledge and saving lives for future generations of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Jenni knows all too well from a lifetime of experience, that breast cancer can have life altering impacts on those diagnosed and their families.

As an 8-year-old, Jenni’s grandmother, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a brutal radical mastectomy procedure, passed away. “I can’t remember seeing her [Jenni’s grandmother] smile after the radical mastectomy procedure”. Then when Jenni was 21, her mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer. The eventual passing of Jenni’s mother had a significant impact on her family, “my two younger sister's struggled to come to terms with the loss of our mother.”

Through her 40-plus years in nursing, Jenni has also seen too many women leave behind their families and loved ones as they come to the end of their battle against breast cancer. “I can still see some of their [patients] faces and wonder what their children are doing.”

While Jenni completed her post graduate degree in research, she became “inspired by the difference research can make” to the lives of people diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2000 she, along with Professor Ian Campbell, took it upon themselves to establish the Waikato Breast Cancer Research Trust. Through the Trust’s participation in clinical trials, Jenni has seen the importance of advances in breast cancer treatment in reducing side effects, increasing quality of life and extending the lives of people living with breast cancer.

Her close connection to the trust, personal experiences and her passion in wanting to contribute to the eventual remission and cure of breast cancer is what motivated Jenni to leave a bequest in her will. “I think it is important to leave a legacy for future generations. Leaving a bequest is a way to help life live on and contribute to a community that is important to you.”

“As the secretary [of the Trust] for 20 odd years, I know what a challenge it is to keep up the financial support.” Jenni understands the significant impact even a small contribution can have in enabling the Trust to continue its important work in gaining knowledge and saving lives now and in the future.

Like Jenni, leaving a bequest in your will can contribute to gaining knowledge and saving lives.

Margaret Jenkins - Volunteer

Margaret Jenkins started volunteering for the Breast Cancer Research Trust in 2017 and has been an important part of making things happen at the BCRT ever since. Marg experienced the loss of a close friend to breast cancer and understands the large ripple effect one's loss can have on their family and their community.

“These women are daughters, mothers, grandmothers, wives, workmates and friends. Their loss is felt enormously by their entire community.”

Marg wanted to contribute to a cause that helps improve the lives of people living with breast cancer. She had built a connection with the people at the BCRT through her time at the Waikato Times, and connected with the BCRT team once she had retired to see if there was anything she could do to help.

“What the team at the Breast Cancer Research Trust do is progressive and inspiring. The passion to make a difference to breast cancer patients, their families and their futures is incredible and I wanted to know how I could help.”

Since 2017, Marg has been involved in pulling together many of the BCRT fundraising events. Supporting the Trust in fundraising events and efforts is a natural fit for Marg, who’s career skills working in funding, marketing and communications, as well as the enthusiasm she exudes, is invaluable. Her large network of connections as a Rotarian has enabled Marg to gather exciting auction items, spot prizes and raffle prizes for BCRT events throughout the years.

Marg says she has been very fortunate to live a very good and healthy life. She loves volunteering because it provides an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of others and meet new people from all walks of life.

“The world seems to be a brighter place when you’ve put something positive into it.The consequence of giving, is making someone else’s life a little better.”

Marg understands the importance of community and giving back to your community in ways that you can.

“Having a passion for the purpose makes it easy to give back. Everyone is capable of giving back to a community in some way.”

The BCRT is proud, and grateful to have Marg as part of the team, and appreciate all the hard work she does for the Trust. Marg is currently supporting the BCRT in the setup of the Trust’s new Op Shop. In addition to volunteering at the BCRT, Marg volunteers as a Waikato Sunrise Rotarian, weeding pots at the Native Nursery and some gardening for friends.

Tara - Founder of Tar's Candle Co.

Tara is the founder of Tar’s Candle Co. and is currently a year 9 student at Te Awamutu College.
Tara was determined to travel to Scotland in 2019 to spend time with her Aunty, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“We wanted to spend as much time with her as we could. She was really sick at the time, but is doing well now.”

Tara’s parents challenged her with the task of saving up her own spending money for their trip to Scotland. The young entrepreneur, 10 years old at the time, decided that making and selling beautiful homemade candles would be the way to go! After returning from her journey to Scotland, Tara continued making candles for her family and friends. Four years on, Tar’s Candle Co. is a thriving small business based out of Te Awamutu. 

After experiencing the loss of another family member to breast cancer, Tara wanted to help make a difference. She decided to donate to a cause helping improve breast cancer outcomes.

“Breast cancer is a high risk disease. I want to do my bit to help. The more they know, the better it is for future generations.”

The initial connection between Tar’s Candle Co. and the Breast Cancer Research Trust came through a work relationship Tara’s mum, Rochelle, had with BCRT board member, Caro Gatley four years ago. Rochelle and Caro were a part of the fundraising team at a fundraising lunch for the Trust. Since then, Tar’s Candle Co. has been a generous supporter of the Breast Cancer Research Trust, donating $1 from the sale of every candle.

Tara was inspired to support a cause that was close to her heart. She very wisely says “It is important to support something you believe in and relate to. That makes what you do meaningful.”

The Trust is extremely appreciative of Tara’s support and generosity; every little bit counts towards the Trust’s mission of gaining knowledge and saving lives.