A former Queenstowner has named her rare form of breast cancer after Brad Pitt – and her old employer is fundraising for the charities helping her to beat it.
Rebecca van Dijk, aka Bexie Bubbles, was renowned as a “bit of a legend” when she worked at Shotover Canyon Swing, the firm’s general manager Matt Hollyer says.
She contacted the team earlier this year to say she’d been diagnosed with cancer and asked whether Canyon Swing and Canyon Fox’s annual fundraiser could help.
“I have ‘triple negative breast cancer’, which about 15 per cent of people have and they tend to be more aggressive than other types,” Van Dijk says.
“Even before chemotherapy started I came across many charities which were ‘at the ready’ to help, and I knew just the place to help me give back to them.”
The company offered $10-extra swings for the month of June, with all the proceeds donated to Van Dijk’s chosen charities.
Guest pumped out 430 extra swings and $857 was raised in cash donations, bringing the total raised to $5157.
Van Dijk says there’s “no normal way” to deal with cancer so she has nicknamed it Brad, with her ‘girls’ called Thelma and Louise.
Pitt was a supporting actor in the 1991 American road movie Thelma & Louise, which stared Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon.
“I take the mickey out of Brad at every chance I get, and after chemotherapy I had an operation to evict him, followed by radiation.
“It’s getting no special treatment from me, I acknowledge it, do what I have to do, and get on with life.”
Hollyer says helping their former staffer was a “no-brainer”.
“Bexie is one of those people you never forget; a right character in every sense of the word, and guests just loved her.
“It’s so characteristic of her to want to help the charities who’re supporting her in her fight, and we want nothing more than her Bexie Bubbles’ super-powers restored in full.”
The chosen charities are the Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre in Whangarei, Northland, where Van Dijk is receiving treatment, and also Look Good Feel Better, Shocking Pink, and Cancer Society Northland.