“Taste of Spain” long lunch at Avida – 2nd April 2016


We raised $35K in one gorgeously long afternoon packed with food, wine and lots of generous hearts and wallets!!! $35K!!!!

We are SO grateful and blown away by everyone’s support – thank you so much to those that came along.  The auction went so well and the raffle tickets were snapped up.  The $10 lucky dip pinata’s were also gone in a heartbeat!  The Spanish music, the amazing flowers, the yum food that kept coming and coming… truly was a fantastic afternoon.

The auction items  included 4 pieces of beautiful art – generously given to us by Exhibitions Gallery in Brandon St, Wellington.  One of our most sought after pieces went for $5000!!! With the others going between an impressive $1200 to $2000! We had an unbelievable $3000 Whitebait voucher given to us by Armstrong Prestige to be auctioned, so was a “Night at the Footy” – 4x tickets at ABs vs Wales in June and dinner at Ombra beforehand.  We also had 2 night’s accommodation at The Tongariro Lodge in Turangi kindly donated by the fabulous team up there.  And because things were going so well we threw into the auction mix a night up to Auckland,  flights for 2 on Air NZ and a night at Rydges Hotel,  a $500 voucher at Harbourside Restaurant and lunch the next day at Brew on Quay. Phew!!!!!

PLUS!!!! We had $20 raffle items including –

  • Whiskey galore! Gallon of Jamiesons whiskey and 2x other bottles to go with it
  •  A bouquet of gorgeous flowers from Scent Floral Bouquet once a month for a year PLUS a sterling silver cross necklace by Guthrie and Steel with velvet bag which retails at $700
  • The White Swan in Greytown – one night in deluxe suite, French bubbles on arrival and 3 course dinner for 2

Thank you so much to everyone that donated items!!!!

All of our photos are on our Facebook page but here are a few sneaky pics to get you wanting to see more!  One thing you can’t see is all the love coming our way in the room – it was in abundance!



We have an exciting announcement soon to come about what that money is going to contribute to……So stay tuned!!!!

Dr. Parry Guilford & KLF partnership in ctDNA research

BIG NEWS from us!!!

The Karen Louisa Foundation has committed $47K to support Dr. Parry Guilford & his team at the Centre of Translational Cancer research at Otago University in a seed project which researches circulating tumour DNA or ctDNA in the area of metastatic (advanced) breast cancer. There is strong evidence emerging internationally that ctDNA can be used as an early indicator of a patients response during and following cancer treatment and also if a patients cancer is recurring. Dr. Guilford videoed a short message and explanation of this in a little more detail for the launch party – if you have 3 minutes today check it out here . We can’t support these types of projects without your support so thank you from the bottom of our heart.

What is ctDNA?
Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) is DNA which has been spilt from cancer into the blood.  There is strong evidence emerging internationally that the levels of ctDNA can be used as an early indicator of patient recurrence/response during and following cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation.  Traditional scanning techniques such as CT/PET scans are very useful, however changes in tumour sizes often need to be large to be identified.  As a result patients often end up taking drugs which are providing little benefit and commonly, causing side effects which can considerable impact the quality of their life.  For some, by the time either recurrence or growth is discovered,  their cancer burden is too great and it is too late to try an alternative drug or their drug options are now limited.

Research shows that ctDNA could provide this sought-after earlier detection method.  As it only takes a quick blood  test  it can be done as often as desired, leading to more intense patient monitoring and faster clinical response times.  This allows the patient to quickly stop futile treatment and change their treatment plan, potentially giving them a longer life, all with a lower cost to the health care system.

There are many more extremely exciting things that ctDNA could be capable of  such as potentially profiling a patient’s tumour, potentially allowing doctors to predict which drug would work better over others.  But the first step in New Zealand is to develop the ctDNA technology & protocol for actual application on advanced breast cancer and test the methodology on breast cancer patients.  Ultimately so that it this is standard clinical practice in New Zealand.

Pretty amazing huh?!


“A bit of a Do” Launch Party – 27th February 2016

WOW! What a fantastic night we had!!! 150 people came to The Featherston Tavern to support us and WE RAISED $20K! $20K!!! We were blown away by everyone’s generosity and support.

There was music by Aaron Andis, delicious food (and hot dog’s to takeaway at the end!), raffles galore, $5 lucky dip balloons with prizes in them, discounted drinks and the two auction iems that went for a combined $4k! And of course there was a photo booth which was a whole heap of fun!  Every single cent that went across the bar, from the ticket sales, from the raffle sales from everything and anything went to the Foundation (click here to find out more about our BIG announcement on where that money is going!)

We auctioned an Auckland trip which was  Air New Zealand flights, accommodation at Rydges Auckland and a $500 voucher at Harbourside Ocean Bar & Grill for 2 people AND lunch the next day at Brew on Quay  that went for $1900! And a 2015/16 signed Manchester United jersey with a Certificate of Authentication went for $2150!!

We had $20 raffle items which included: Platinum stand seats for Hurricanes game AND dinner at Avida for 6 people, an all inclusive dinner party at YOUR house with a private chef and waiter from The Featherston for 6 people AND lastly but not least a 5 star package at The Bolton Hotel for one night incl. bubbles & petite fours on arrival and  degustation dinner for 2 at ARTISAN & late midday check out.

Our $10 raffle items included: a Tuscany 45L bar fridge filled with goodies,  2x $500 New World vouchers, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.0 AND a 20” Compaq LCD monitor, a night out in Wellington –  $100 voucher for St Johns Bar, 1 night at the Trinity Hotel & breakfast for 2 at Arborist eatery, and a Golf Day package – round of golf for 4 people at Paraparaumu Golf course plus a cart, $100 voucher at The Old Bailey & a magnum of Louis Roderer champagne for the day’s winner!

We were so lucky to be also given by the Interislander a Family travel voucher for two adults, three kids with one car RETURN!

Here are some pics from the night – for all of them go to our Facebook page:



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room fire pitballoons framesprize signtrusteesAuction items         crowdcorridor

The Karen Louisa Foundation featured on “Story” TV3

Trustee Lisa Scott & Karen’s husband Todd feature on TV 3’s “Story” in a great opportunity to bring some awareness to the lack of accessibility of innovative and much needed breast cancer drugs in New Zealand.  The statistics never seem to NOT blow us away –  LAST country in the OECD in access to medicines & only 13% of medicines that MedSafe has approved in the last 5 years have even made it here!!! Shocking.

Christine Manins is one inspirational & brave lady and the fact that she is paying $7500 a month for Everolimus, a well researched and funded drug in Australia, that should be available free too in New Zealand,  is heartbreaking.  We will continue to bring awareness to this cause & hope that one day these medicines will be free for all.  

All New Zealander’s should have access to the best possible medication on par with Australia, Karen was passionate about this – so too are we.  

Click here to watch the story and find out a little bit more on who Karen was and what was important to her

The latest PHARMAC report Nov 2015

The Karen Louisa Foundation strongly disagree with the latest PHARMAC report entitled “Do differences in funding cancer medicines in Australia and New Zealand impact on people’s health?” The report can be found here.

We fully support both Evangalia Henderson, CEO of New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation’s open letter, which can be found here.

And that of Libby Burgess’s statement from Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalliation.

The Karen Louisa Foundation, with the support of our donors, will continue to work in an education and awareness role so that ultimately one day soon  Kadcyla, Perjeta, Abraxane, Faslodex, Afinitor, and Halaven are available to advanced breast cancer patients in New Zealand.

To see the change that availability of medicine can make in a patient’s life, see this piece about Tracey Eisling.