Here are our most frequently asked questions. If you think there’s something that needs to be added, please let let us know by sending an email to [email protected]. Or call us on 0800 11 22 77.
Advanced breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread from the breast to other parts of your body. Cancer cells can break away from the original tumor in the breast and travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system. Advanced breast cancer may also be known as secondary, metastatic, incurable or Stage Four breast cancer. Treatment for advanced breast cancer is lifelong and focuses on control of the disease, management of symptoms and quality of life.
Sweet Louise is the only charity in New Zealand that solely focuses on improving the quality of life for hundreds of women and men living with advanced breast cancer. We offer information, advice, support and access to a range of practical and therapeutic services free of charge. Sweet Louise currently supports over 700 members around the country.
If you have been diagnosed with: advanced / secondary / metastatic / incurable breast cancer and you live in New Zealand, you can become a Sweet Louise member (membership is free).
You can register yourself in one of the following ways:
- Website – Complete an online registration form
- Phone – Talk to one of our Support Coordinators on our free phone number 0800 11 22 77 (during office hours)
- Email- Email your contact details to: [email protected]
Once we have received your referral we will contact your specialist or health provider to confirm your diagnosis of advanced breast cancer. Your health provider can also refer you to Sweet Louise with your permission.
Sweet Louise provides services all around New Zealand.
Services available throughout New Zealand
- Support Coordinators – To support members and their families
- Vouchers for members – $300 per year to spend with registered Sweet Louise Service Providers
- Newsletter – Members will receive regular email newsletters (bi-monthly for print) with news, a chance to hear from other members across NZ as well as useful resources and information.
- Family Time– If members have dependent children or grandchildren under the age of 18 years old, they can talk to their Support Coordinator to find out about our family time scheme.
- Member Meetings– An opportunity for members to connect with other members.
Please note there can be some regional variation in the services we provide.
All our Support Coordinators have health professional backgrounds with experience in cancer care. Our Support Coordinators can support you by helping you navigate your treatment and care pathways and can refer you to appropriate support people and organisations you may want to use. Your Support Coordinator will contact you when you first register. Then, with your agreement, your Support Coordinator will contact you at least every three months to catch up on how you are and provide assistance to use your Sweet Louise vouchers and other services.
A Sweet Louise Support Coordinator or a volunteer currently host member meetings in several centres around New Zealand. Member meetings are an opportunity to get together and share similar experiences and support each other. Coffee / tea, cake and meeting some amazing people are all part of the experience.
Member meeting times/ dates/ locations can be found on our event calendar.
Information on member meetings is also provided in our newsletter sent to members.
Sweet Louise rely on a small number of volunteers who use their own cars to drive members to member meetings. This is a limited service only available in a few areas. Members should contact their Support Coordinators to ask if this service is available in their area. Also please remember:
- We only provide this service to members who have no other means of getting to member meetings.
- Volunteer drivers need plenty of notice so please give at least one to two week’s notice if you need transport to a member meeting.
- Sweet Louise only provides transport (when available) to Sweet Louise member meetings. We do not provide volunteer transport for clinic, hospital or treatment appointments.
Each member is given $300 of vouchers per year to spend with Service Providers registered with Sweet Louise. See our Service Provider page for details.
- Members will receive $300 worth of vouchers every 12 months. You will be sent your new vouchers once your old ones have expired.
- You will receive a shortened regional directory of Service Providers with your Welcome pack. This will give you information on where you can spend your vouchers. The full service directory with more in depth information is available on the website.
- Your vouchers have an expiry date on them. Please make sure you use your vouchers before their expiry date.
- If you order any service or product either on the phone or on the internet, please put a pen line through the voucher you use, to ensure you do not use it again. Sweet Louise does not redeem the value of vouchers used twice and you may be asked to pay for the service by the service provider if this occurs.
- Vouchers come in $20 and $50 values. Service providers will not give you change so please ensure you pay with the correct combination of vouchers.
- If you mislay or lose your vouchers, please contact your Support Coordinator. Vouchers can be cancelled through your Coordinator and re-organised.
- Sweet Louise vouchers are for member use only and are not transferable.
Please see our Service Provider page for contact details and locations of local and national Sweet Louise Service Providers. Members receive a regional directory of service providers when they are given their Welcome pack and vouchers.
Children – Ask your Support Coordinator for advice on resources for children.