Tere Kiriau was fighting bowel cancer with his brother Numa who was his principal care giver. They both felt the need to create a conduit to highlight the long cancer journey that patients and care givers undertake and also create an outlet to encourage men to get checked early in order to prevent others from paddling the cancer journey. They managed to achieve this by founding the inaugural Mates Paddle for Life event which took place in Wellington Harbour on March 3rd 2012.
The concept of Mates Paddle for Life is based on the analogy that when someone embarks on the cancer pathway that they never paddle that journey alone. Their family, mates, medical and support services paddle that journey with them and at times even paddle for them when their journey gets long and weary.
Just like paddling on the ocean, anything can happen.
Tere passed away five days before the event took place, so the course was changed to a 2km circuit along the Wellington waterfront 48 times (96km) to celebrate Tere’s 48 years. This created a visual public spectacle to better promote men’s health and highlight the cancer journey. Tere’s old paddling mates and family members paddled that journey for him in a celebration of his life and left a legacy by creating the Mates Paddle For Life event which will become an annual event utilising all types of paddle craft.
The Cancer Society is proud to be able to support this community initiative which not only raised money for Cancer Society but promoted the awareness of men’s health.
Mates Padde for Life