on Apr 04, 20

A lockdown birthday celebration that's helping breast cancer patients

Tens of thousands of New Zealanders will be celebrating their birthdays in lockdown over the next few weeks. Libby Burgess is one of them, and she’s decided to celebrate a little differently — connecting with friends and family through her charitable birthday registry.

Libby is a scientist for a Crown Research Institute and is currently working from home in Ponsonby, Auckland. She is also the Chair for the Breast Cancer Coalition Aotearoa (BCAC) who are one of our 65 charity partners at The Good Registry.

The idea of creating a registry was brought to Libby by fellow BCAC committee members, and she thought it was a wonderful idea. Her registry, named “Libby’s Lockdown Birthday” has already raised over $1,300.

“While everybody is stuck at home, we have little opportunity to entertain ourselves other than online. I thought this was a great way to reach out to people and enable people to have a celebration and support a good cause at the same time.”

As the Chair of BCAC, Libby knows how important their work is for breast cancer patients — especially at times like these.

BCAC is a coalition of more than 30 breast cancer related groups throughout New Zealand, run by a committee of women who have experienced breast cancer. They provide a wide range of services including supporting women with breast cancer via social media and the BCAC website, as well as representing their views to decision-makers for positive change.

Libby says it’s important during the lockdown that cancer patients are getting updates and important information they need.

“A lot of women with breast cancer are worried as their oncologists are telling them their appointments need to be delayed or cancelled due to the lockdown. Their treatments reduce their immunity, making them high-risk for catching the virus.”

Consistent information can be difficult for cancer patients to access, as there is mis-information on the internet. BCAC is staunch on the fact that their information is reliable, consistent and evidence-based.

“There are different stories, and different levels of information. We provide information as it comes from the government, and make sure that the information we provide is evidence-based for patients to make their decisions.” says Libby.

BCAC is close to Libby’s heart, and she says she’d much rather receive donations for the organisation than traditional gifts.

“My friends and family thought, ‘yay what a great idea!’. There’s also been a number of generous donations which is really good too.”

“It’s quite personal, and people who know me and trust me also know about the work we do — but don’t often have an opportunity to reach out and support BCAC. This provides people with an opportunity and a new way to show their love and support.”

Libby says creating the registry has given her an opportunity to connect with friends and family.

“It’s created a positive space where people can be generous, kind, and connect to support a worthy cause. It also gives people meaning and purpose, and a way to express their personality and generosity during lockdown.”

“I’ve also had positive contact with people I haven’t talked to in a while. People are reaching out and being very generous.”

Whilst Libby is still unsure how she’ll celebrate her birthday on Monday, she’s considering a virtual birthday bash — maybe a large Zoom group with friends and family. She’s also been inspired by the donations to her registry, and is thinking of other ways she can motivate people to donate to BCAC.

“At this time everyone is worried and trying to stay positive, and this provides an opportunity to create happiness and connect with each other to support a great cause.”

“It’s definitely going to be a different birthday in lockdown, but I’m really pleased I’m doing this.”

If you’d like to help Libby celebrate her birthday and support BCAC at the same time, you can do that through her registry here.

If you’d like to find out more about BCAC, how they can support you or other ways that you can support them, you can visit their website, or follow them on Facebook.

Or if you'd like to celebrate and do good during lockdown (or anytime) you can do that at The Good Registry too. Here's how: 

  • Create your own Good Registry for a special event (like Libby has) and ask friends to donate to a charity you choose.
  • Give Good Gift Cards instead of traditional gifts, to show people you are thinking about, and enable them to donate to charities they care about.

We have 65 partner charities that our Good Sorts can choose to support.

You can hear from people and businesses who have used Good Registries and Good Gift Cards to give more simply and sustainably, and to help causes they care about, on our inspirational Giving Wall.

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