Famous Foodie turns up the heat

Pink Ribbon Express asked popular New Zealand foodie Peta Mathias how breast cancer has touched her life, and why she chose to get involved in the Foundation's Pink Ribbon breakfast campaign this May.

“I have quite a few friends who have had breast cancer,” she said. “Most recently, my friend Sue Fleichel had a double mastectomy. She has been incredibly strong and inspiring through the whole thing and even insisted going about with a bald head because she just thought 'why not - why should I pretend what's happening is not happening?’”

Although her own family hasn’t been affected, Peta’s background as a registered nurse means she’s encountered many women with breast cancer. “I nursed a lot of breast cancer patients in the 1970s, when it was horrible to be afflicted – no reconstructions, massive scarring and huge embarrassment at losing your breasts. Women felt deformed, which they don't now.”

Peta is committed to getting regular mammograms, even though she “loathes” the procedure. “It would be too stupid not to do something that could save your life, so I do it,” she says simply. She recalls her first ever mammogram: “It was done by a French doctor in Paris who said afterwards, 'Madame, your breasts are as beautiful inside as they are outside.’”

Imagine a Kiwi doctor trying a line like that!

Peta is all in favour of friends getting together through Pink Ribbon Breakfasts. “Eating is the cheapest and easiest way to make yourself and other people happy,” she says. “Sharing food with people is a way of showing love – in fact you are depriving yourself of pleasure by not doing it. Food and talk and feelings intertwine when we get together and thereby live long in our memories.”

Sounds good to us! Peta says that a good host “nourishes their guests in such a way that it is only afterwards you realize how much you miss them and want to do it again. A get-together over food is the perfect occasion to fundraise because you are having fun and understand that it is love and generosity that makes the world go round."

To host your own Pink Ribbon Breakfast, visit www.pinkribbonbreakfast.co.nz. We've included everything you'll need to make your fundraising breakfast a success.

To buy tickets to our Auckland Mother’s Day breakfast on Sunday 12th May, where Peta will be a guest speaker, along with NZ Gardener magazine editor Lynda Hallinan, order here.