Temira Mataroa knows how precious life is.
After the devastating and tragic loss of two of her children to a rare Leukodystrophy Disorder, Temira doesn’t take anything for granted especially when it comes to health.
Her strength and the desire to stay fit and healthy is what drove her to sport and now Temira plays rugby, alongside her daughter Paris, for the Counties Energy Heat in the Farah Palmer Cup team.
Temira previously worked for the Counties Manukau Screening team based at the Manukau SuperClinic, and is now working for Te Whatu Ora - Waikato.
“Screening is something I am passionate about – especially when some cancers don’t need to happen,” says Temira.
“They can be found early and treated and that is what screening is all about. It gives you that chance to find it early. People don’t have to die – but some still are.
“I work with our communities, Iwi and marae to bring awareness and hopefully encourage our people to be make their health a priority, because they deserve it.”
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and successfully treatable forms of cancer and Temira encourages wahine to complete their three yearly smears that is recommended for anyone aged between 25 and 69.
Cervical cancer has a link to HPV infection, with nearly all cervical cancer cases attributed to HPV. Anyone who has ever been sexually active can get HPV and cervical screening can help find the problem early. The HPV vaccination is also free for those aged 9-26 years.
“If you can do something to prevent cancer – just do it. The value of life and being there for your whaanau, is precious.”