Kaitaia mum remembers daughter this Daffodil Day
As she prepares to fundraise for Daffodil Day, Kaitaia’s Jo Buckingham remembers her spirited and energetic 16-year-old daughter, Georgia, who passed away from Acute Myeloid Cancer, a blood cancer, in 2016.
“Georgia was so cool, and she was a fighter,” Mrs Buckingham says. “She fought the terrible disease admirably every day for two years - some days you wouldn’t even know she was sick.”
A senior personal banker at ANZ Kaitaia, Mrs Buckingham is a long-time supporter of the Cancer Society, ANZ’s official charity partner, and has actively fundraised for Daffodil Day since she started working for the bank in 2011.
She never thought her family would be recipients of the charity’s support.
“The Cancer Society supported us in so many ways. We received practical help like petrol vouchers and grocery vouchers and I will always be grateful for what they did for us.
“Fundraising for the Cancer Society is extremely important to me, now more than ever. When it’s impacted you personally you do what you can to help. They supported us in so many ways and I will always be grateful - we still keep in touch.”
Mrs Buckingham’s boss and ANZ chief executive David Hisco met her in 2014, a few weeks after Georgia’s diagnosis.
“When I first met Jo I told her I would wear my daffodil for her and her daughter Georgia,” Mr Hisco says.
“Not long after Georgia’s passing, Jo sent me a letter thanking the wider bank for supporting the Cancer Society. She said her family were grateful for everything the charity and her ANZ colleagues did for them, going out of their way to make hard times more bearable.”
Mr Hisco says he was so moved by his staff member’s letter he asked her permission to share it with the more than 8,000 ANZ people across New Zealand.
“No parent wants to see their child, or anyone close to them, suffer but unfortunately many do. It’s hard to believe, but one in three New Zealanders are impacted by cancer in some way, and that’s why Daffodil Day is important to all of us at ANZ.
“It’s heartening to see our people across New Zealand putting in extra effort to fundraise for Daffodil Day and doing what they can to support families like Jo’s through incredibly difficult times.”
Jo Buckingham and the Cancer Society
Jo Buckingham has worked at ANZ Kaitaia for just over six years. Every year she’s worked at ANZ she has fundraised alongside her colleagues for the Cancer Society and helped organise a baby photo competition – a local favourite. This year the ANZ Kaitaia team has organised a community Trivial Pursuit fundraiser evening at the local rugby club on Daffodil Day.
Throughout her years of fundraising for the charity Jo never thought her family would be recipients of the Cancer Society’s support. Sadly, in 2014, Jo’s daughter Georgia was just 14 when she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Cancer on Christmas Eve. “Age is no barrier,” Jo says.
“Georgia was so cool, and she was a fighter. She fought the disease admirably every day for two years - some days you wouldn’t even know she was sick.”
Over the next two years Georgia had a bone marrow transplant and went into remission twice. Sadly, in 2016, the cancer returned a third, and ultimately final, time and Georgia decided she wouldn’t have any more treatment. “She decided it was time to go home and she passed away in her sleep.”
“Fundraising for the Cancer Society is extremely important to me. When it’s impacted you personally you do what you can to help. They supported us in so many ways and I will always be grateful - we still keep in touch.”
Money raised for the Cancer Society stays within the community it came from to help fight against all types of cancer. The Cancer Society provides practical care and support to those affected and their families.
To support the Cancer Society’s 2018 Annual Appeal Kiwis can text ‘hope’ to 336 for an instant $3 donation, donate online, make a donation in any ANZ branch, or donate to street collectors on Daffodil Day.
New Zealand statistics in 2017
- 10,061 Kiwis referred to the Cancer Society in the 12 months to March 31, 2017.
- 11,905 volunteers helped with Daffodil Day.
- 2,830 patients transported by volunteer driving services.
- 1,129,887 kilometres driven by volunteer drivers.
For media enquiries contact: Siobhan Enright, 021 991 325 (New Zealand)