A well-known Kiwi-Indian business couple hosted a successful fundraising lunch at their downtown Auckland restaurant for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation on 17 January.

Owners of the Auckland CBD-based upscale Chancery Bistro, Daven and Monika Naidu, raised $11,255 in ticket sales and donation for the charity that has saved thousands of Kiwi lives since the 1990s by helping raise awareness of breast cancer.

Eight-five people attended the fund-raising lunch that was ticketed at $45 a pop ($85 for couples). Daven and Monika donated $4,200 toward cost of the lunch with $7,650 raised in donations and $3605 in ticket sales on the day making up a grand total of $11,255 – all of which was donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer for Kiwi women and the third most common cancer overall, with one in ten Kiwi women experiencing it in their lifetime. According to Breast Cancer Foundation, on an average nine Kiwi women find out that they have breast cancer every day.

Awareness is key in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Speaking to The Indian Weekender Mrs Naidu said, “The importance of awareness of Breast Cancer and its early detection through screening cannot be overstated. Breast cancer is most treatable when it is detected early – and everybody needs to raise awareness about this.”

As part of the luncheon, guests spoke about different aspects of breast cancer and shared their experiences. Among these were Shiro Pillay who spoke on early detection; Elizabeth Gounder on her personal journey as a cancer survivor and Sangeeta Kumar on breast examination and health checks. Sadhana Reddy welcomed guests and introduced the speakers and Monika Naidu delivered the vote of thanks.

Like so many Kiwi families, the Naidu family also has had to experience breast cancer. “My two sisters-in-law have had cancer at different levels as well as some close family friends. This was primarily the motivation for us to send a strong message to other women to remain diligent in be active in screening frequently,” Mrs Naidu said.

As well as running Chancery Bistro and other businesses, Daven and Monika Naidu are deeply involved in another charity, Friends of Fiji Health (FOFH), which facilitates specialists to travel to Fiji and provide medical treatment for the neediest from time to time free of cost. Mr Naidu is a Founding Trustee.