Navy fundraiser for cancer sufferer

Katie Bell with her family, Tim, seven year old Saxon, two year old twins Trinity and Savannah and eight month Harper Iimage courtesy of Bell family)
Katie with, Tim, seven year old Saxon, two year old  twins Trinity and Savannah and eight month Harper. (Image courtesy of Bell family - WN10-0154-06)

 28 October 2010

A movie star, a Shortland St cast member and parents from the Navy community are organising a fundraising event in support of Katie Bell, a teacher at the Navy Daycare centre who has been diagnosed with cancer.

In April of this year Katie was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She had surgery to remove the tumour but surgeons were unable to remove it all due to the proximity of it to the vital nerves in the brain. Further tests identified the cancer as aggressive Grade 4 Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM); Grade 4 being the worst grade on the scale. 

Since the diagnosis, Katie has undergone both radio and chemotherapy which is ongoing. Few patients with GBM survive longer than 3 years and only a handful survive 5 years; Katie has a positive attitude and believes she is the exception to the rule.

Katie is 29 years old, has a husband and four children. She has been a teacher at the Navy under 2’s Daycare centre for 5 years.

Work colleagues and Daycare parents have rallied around to help.

“We just couldn’t believe that it could happen to her, Katie is such a vivacious person,” said Pauline Withers,  the Navy under 2’s Daycare Manager.

“A group of us decided that we had to do something for Katie and her family."

Pauline Withers, Jo Christensen, who also teaches the under 2’s, and two Navy parents of children who attend the daycare, Lieutenant Commander Ange Barker and Warrant Officer Kim Gourlay, wanted to do something for the family. They came up with the idea of a fundraising event that includes a banquet dinner, fashion show and auction.

“The support for the fundraiser has been amazing,” said Ange Barker. "The local community and corporate organisations have pulled together in support of Katie. The money raised will go on a holiday for the family which will be something to look forward to as they go through Katie’s treatment, but also gives an opportunity to have some happy memories together.”

The fundraiser event will be held on Thursday 4 November 2010 at Ngataringa Sports Complex, Devonport. Temuera Morrison is donating his time as the master of ceremonies and Ben Mitchell (TK from Shortland Street) will be a model in the fashion parade. Elvis AKA Brendon Chase will also be putting in an appearance to entertain the audience. 

Sponsors of the event include:



Hellaby's Meat

Carlton Party Hire

Little and Friday Café

McMasters and Daughters

Barkers Menswear


Caroline Sills

Richard Moore



Navy people show commitment, courage and comradeship in many different ways; at sea and on land and throughout the community.

Please contact Lieutenant Sarah Campbell - Media Adviser- Navy on 021 244 0638 for further information

This page was last reviewed on 18 January 2011.