The Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand was inspired by Harry Townsend’s wheel barrow walk from end to end of the North Island of New Zealand.
“When Harry Townsend reached Auckland’s North Shore, Mark Habgood and Jane Hunter arranged for him to meet clinicians at North Shore Hospital. Mark enlisted the help of friends with suitable business and legal expertise to be trustees alongside the clinicians, and the Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand was formed.
The aim was to raise funds to provide support for people affected by melanoma and their families, and to raise awareness about melanoma. Both Harry Townsend & Mark Habgood remain on the Board of Trustees today as do three other founding trustees.
In 2004 Harry decided to walk from one end of the North Island of New Zealand to the other with a wheelbarrow, collecting donations for the fight against melanoma. Mark Habgood swung into action to help organise things and Harry was supported along the way by Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs and rugby clubs.
Mark and Harry made contact with the Waitemata District Health Board where research and treatment into melanoma was underway. With an interested group of clinicians and business persons it was agreed to found the Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand.
From a generous donation of funds raised during Harry Townsend’s walk down the length of the North Island, the Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand was established. The aim was to carry on helping those affected by melanoma in New Zealand.