January 23, 2018
Wahine ma ! Smear your mea
Kapa haka performer Talei Morrison is on a mission to get her fellow wahine kaihaka to keep up with their cervical smears.
Ms Morrison from Te Matarae i Orehu was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer last August.
That woke her up to the reality of the disease – and the fact having regular smears can reduce a women's risk of developing cancer by 90 percent.
She started her 'Smear your Mea' campaign to encourage all haka groups to have cervical smears before their regional competitions.
She says many wahine Maori are scared of what is an intimate and intrusive process, and like her they may feel it will never happen to them.
"I had signs, my body was talking to me, but I ignored them. I was behind on my smears and I thought I am superwoman, I am wonder woman, this isn't going to happen to me. So I think it is mainly an attitudinal thing. So I am hoping people will think 'This actually happened to Talei, and she was doing A, B, C, D, maybe I should get checked.' We just need that penny to drop a bit further," Ms Morrison says.
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