Dry July of New Zealand Translates into Bigger Gains for Cancer Patients

By @diplomatist10 on
The exterior of Community Hospital where a patient with the first confirmed U.S. case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is in isolation, is seen in Munster, Indiana, May 5, 2014.
The exterior of Community Hospital, where a patient with the first confirmed U.S. case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is in isolation, is seen in Munster, Indiana, May 5, 2014. All workers at the Indiana hospital where the first U.S. case of the often deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was confirmed last week have tested negative for the virus, officials at Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, said on Monday. Reuters

New Zealand is setting an encouraging model before the world with its Dry July programme. It means going dry or abstaining from booze for a fundraiser opportunity in the month of July and supporting adults struggling with cancer. 

According to a report in the NZ Herald, the fundraising challenge is growing in popularity.  This was the third year of Dry July in New Zealand and the seventh in Australia.  In this July, 6041 New Zealanders abstained from drinking to observe Dry July. Last year, the figure was 4000 and raised more than $700,000 for the benefit of various health organisations. That fund helped cancer patients throughout New Zealand.

Cancer Treatment

A 3 News Report claims that ever since New Zealand started observing Dry July, almost $2 million has been raised, with every cent going to cancer projects to provide immediate benefits to the patients. The Auckland City Hospital has been one of the biggest beneficiaries. The Dry July funds also graced the Northern Regional Cancer and Blood Service, which was able to add 30 chemotherapy chairs costing $7000 per piece. That led to a huge improvement in facilities for the patients who spend an average eight hours a day receiving the treatment.

Dr Richard Sullivan appreciated the gesture of Dry July and noted the little extras it is adding to alleviate the tough experience of the cancer patients.

The participants in the Dry July (DJ) are also helping themselves. In the process, they get a healthy and clear head and can help in raising funds for an important cause.  Dry July also improves the wellbeing of adult cancer patients as the funds create better services and environments for them and their families.

This year, Hawke's Bay had the second smallest for participation across New Zealand, with 135 people abstaining from alcohol and raised nearly $10,000.

Test of determination

The rising participation in Dry July underscores the success of a light-hearted approach in raising funds for a serious issue like cancer.  In fact DJ offers the chance to raise money for charity without actually doing anything. It is also a test on the determination of the participants and in the end they accrue a great sense of achievement and wellbeing.

Dry July is also the opportunity for participants to focus on themselves. It helps reflect on themselves---checking the drinking habits and the need for maintaining good health.  

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