Skip Content
Despite losing sight in one eye and his hearing, Damon Heke remains defiant in his five-year battle with cancer.

After successfully overcoming nose, ear and throat cancer, a second more extensive and aggressive wave of cancer has returned and Damon’s been advised by the Auckland Hospital that there are few options left for him.

But rather than accept their medical advice Damon who is a Manurewa community leader and taught the certificate in Te Arataki Manu Kōrero in Auckland remains surprisingly upbeat.

“Remember we don't do sad or negative - just love and laughter," Damon says.

His friends and whānau are keeping a brave face also and have launched a fundraising initiative to tackle his ongoing care, called #DamonationTransformation – the Pōtae Project.

Damon's team of passionate supporters have set up a Facebook page so people can purchase customised embroidered snap backs caps for $45-$50, as a tangible way to tautoko the number one wish on Damon’s bucket list - to spend quality time with his whānau.

Meanwhile each pōtae will have the #DamonationTransformation stitched in either Gold, Silver or White thread with each colour embodying its unique whakaaro as a taonga for all the communities of people that Damon has touched both locally and overseas.

Damon says each cap endorses bravery and strength to overcome challenges and negative setbacks that affect all throughout their walks in life.

"I am so grateful and appreciative of all the support, Damon says. "We are strong, resilient and staying positive just like in everything we do. This time is no different. We are so blessed to have awesome whānau and friends.”

Visit Facebook for more kōrero:  www.facebook.com/DamonationTransformation-1538295629527008/ 
 Back to news & events

Published On: 30 Aug, 2017

Article By:



Other Articles

  • LeRoy makes a mint

    As a boy, sculptor LeRoy Transfield used to draw soldiers in his school exercise books.

  • Nadya finds her passion

    For Nadya Rapata her passion for creating pākē or traditional Māori raincoats was probably an accident.

  • Kaiako packs on their way

    Hundreds of personalised resource packs – one for each kaiako employed by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa – are being sent throughout the country help with recruitment efforts.

  • Sparking awareness

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is helping one of New Zealand’s biggest corporates build their awareness of te ao Māori.