Mon, Jul 8, 2024 7:00 AM

See brew later


Gordon Preece

Dry July is a nationwide campaign that challenges people to go alcohol-free for a month to raise funds for Kiwis affected by cancer. Reporter Gordon Preece speaks to two locals that are ditching the drink this month.

Cameron Roberts is saying hoo-roo to his home brew this month for a good cause.

The 44-year-old Richmond resident, who savours a cold one up to four times a week, will instead drink water from a keg for his maiden Dry July.

Dry July pledges its support to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Pinc & Steel, which supports cancer recovery, and Look Good Feel Better, which provides free, practical programmess to help people face cancer with confidence.

With two close mates succumbing to cancer in the space of five years at age 38, and both in-laws and a close neighbour having experienced the disease, the fundraiser resonated with Cameron.

“It’s not a life-altering challenge, whereas cancer probably is, so why can’t we all chip in and do something to raise some much-needed money for cancer research and cancer treatment?” he says.

“For some people going through cancer, losing all their hair or losing body weight can go on to cause mental health issues. So, any money that can be raised for organisations that will help people with their appearance is just as important as cancer treatment medicine.

“I’d like to get to $500, I think I’ve got a big enough pool of people I know who should be able to generate that.”

Cameron says his Nelson friend Brendon Hills, who was an avid mountain biker, tramper and seasoned traveller, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2022, aged 38.

“Brendon was probably the worst out of all of them because he didn’t even know he had anything. He started getting bad stomach cramps and he went to the doctor several times, and the doctor associated it with a mountain bike crash that he’d had.”

Cameron’s other Nelson friend Steve Brabant passed away from lymphoma just over six years ago after battling the disease for years. He was also 38.

Cameron’s father-in-law is undergoing pancreatic cancer treatment, his close neighbour is undergoing breast cancer treatment and his mother-in-law’s breast cancer is in remission.

Cameron says he’ll resist the temptation to pour a glass of his beloved home brew when he gets home from work this month for the Dry July challenge and plans to up the ante with no carbonated beverages. He says there could be an upside alongside the raised funds.

“I’m not dependent on alcohol, but I think that I’ll be able to go through my challenge and maybe reduce my alcohol consumption. It would be ideal to possibly save alcohol for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.”

Go here to support Cameron’s Dry July fundraiser.

Meanwhile, Moana Davis has a history of heavy drinking but seldom drinks alcohol these days to efficiently engage in everyday tasks.

She has also been rocked by whānau members in her Waikato homeland and a colleague at her Alliance Nelson workplace who have succumbed to cancer.

The Nelson resident who enjoys a tipple on special occasions is participating in her third Dry July this year in the spirit of loved ones and people worldwide who have battled or are battling cancer.

Moana Davis is participating in her third Dry July challenge in aid of raising funds for various cancer charities. Photo: Gordon Preece.

Moana says her fundraising goal this year is $500, and she also wants to uplift more people to reduce their alcohol consumption, particularly those who have cancer battlers in their whānau.

“People drinking around me asked if I wanted a drink and I would say ‘no, I’m doing Dry July, why are you drinking?’ You should be supporting your whānau with cancer,” she says.

“I used to be a hard-out drinker, but I started [drinking less] when I started working at the meat works [five years ago] because I work around machinery, and you can’t be having hangovers every weekend because you have to keep your mindset.”

The 36-year-old says she also noticed changes to her skin by cutting back on booze.

To support Moana’s Dry July fundraiser, go here.

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