Springing back from Covid is one of this year’s missions for Cancer Society support care co› ordinator Diana Power.
‘‘Covid had a big impact on the society’s ability to raise funds,’’ the veteran nurse said.
‘‘We’d get into gear and do all the build›up, then have to cancel the events.
‘‘For us as a health network there were no half measures, because so many of the people we work with are immuno› compromised, and our volunteers are often in vulnerable groups, and we want them all kept safe. Need for the service hasn’t changed and our capability is picking up again, so this year Daffodil Day is especially important.’’
Mrs Power has been the Cancer Society’s South and West Otago co›ordinator since last October.
Raised in a rural community, she understands the characteristic connections and relationships inherent in farming towns and districts and found she had the skills to set out in a healthcare career straight out of school.
‘‘You have to particularly enjoy being a people person, be a good listener with empathy.
‘‘You’re finding out what people’s needs are and enabling them with advice they can use.
‘‘We want to keep patients feeling in control or that they can take back control.
‘‘That’s especially important when someone gets a cancer diagnosis.’’
She has been in nursing most of her life, with time out to focus on family, and moved to Clutha from Hawke’s Bay 30 years ago with her husband. She has been farming in Otago ever since and is currently on a Waitahuna sheep and beef farm. She is a also a former public health nurse. ‘‘It was a logical slide,’’ she said.
‘‘A public health nurse is community based and mainly works with young people, while the Cancer Society typically supports more mature, home based clients, but the networks were familiar — people, agencies and links from working in schools with young people to health promotion with the Cancer Society,’’ she said.
From her Balcutha office, Mrs Power manages a network including Owaka, Kaka Pt, Kaitangata, Lawrence and everywhere in between.
‘‘I’m at the office a couple of days a week and mostly travelling to support our clients and co›ordinate with our volunteers. The Cancer Society says ‘any cancer patient, anywhere’, — that’s who we take care of.’’