Baden Ngan Kee is a well-respected executive within the FMCG industry who has forged a highly successful 25-year career, having held an impressive array of senior management roles. These include leadership positions as General Manager Merchandise of Foodstuffs North Island, Cadbury, Goodman Fielder and General Manager of Retail Sales and Export at Fonterra. Over the course of his career Baden has grown a reputation for building strong relationships with suppliers and the wider industry.
In 2016 Baden experienced lower back pain and three months later was diagnosed with lung cancer. He then had to step away from his full-time role at Foodstuffs to undergo treatment.
Prior to his diagnosis Baden was a fit and active person who had never smoked, exercised five days a week and ate a healthy diet. He has become passionate advocate for the Lung Foundation, a non-government organisation dedicated to promoting healthy lungs and early detection of lung disease.
Baden lives in Auckland, married to Katherine and has three young children. He says of living with lung cancer, “I have learnt to get on with life and not be constrained or defined by my illness. Family and friends have become even more important along with key physicians. I am highly grateful to my employer Foodstuffs whose support has allowed me to continue making a meaningful business contribution.
“I have a supportive wife and three young children. We are now closer than ever even though the future is uncertain.”
Acknowledging the public perception of lung cancer Baden states, “I’m aware of the stigma associated with lung cancer with people viewing it as something only smokers get”. He adds, “I have learnt there is a major inequity in funding and resources compared with other types of cancer”. Lung cancer is New Zealand’s biggest cancer killer with five Kiwis dying of the disease every day.
John West is calling on the industry to support Baden and the Lung Foundation NZ and will be fundraising for the organisation through its sponsorship of the John West 12km Traverse at the ASB Auckland Marathon 2017.
“The staff at John West will be pulling on their sneakers to run as ‘Team Baden’ in the 12km Traverse. We’ll be fundraising for the Lung Foundation NZ and ask that other people in the industry join us to support this worthy cause,” said Julian Ng, Simplot Group Brand Manager.
“You don’t have to be an elite athlete to enter the event. The shorter distance means that people of all fitness levels can take part, either running or walking the course. You’ll have a fun time, get fitter and importantly the money raised will help the great work being done by the Lung Foundation NZ.”
How can you help?
1) Take part in the John West 12K Traverse
Individuals can get involved by registering for the John West 12K Traverse (or any other event at the ASB Auckland Marathon – www.aucklandmarathon.co.nz), and setting up an Everydayhero fundraising page joining ‘Team Baden’ to raise funds for the Lung Foundation.
2) Support runners
Non-runners can provide support by donating to friends and colleagues competing in the event and cheering them along on the day.
3) Support ‘Team Baden’
Donate directly to the ‘Team Baden’ fundraising page
About Lung Foundation New Zealand
Lung Foundation New Zealand was established in 2015 and it is a non-government organisation dedicated to promoting healthy lungs and early detection of lung disease.
The Lung Foundation is devoted to supporting people affected by lung disease and provides a voice for patients and their families.
Lung Foundation NZ advocates on a range of issues, including access to more effective funded treatments, an increase in research funding and a commitment to making Aotearoa a Smokefree nation by 2025.
The Foundation’s mission is to ensure lung health is a priority for all New Zealanders and it aims to ensure we know how to keep our lungs healthy and investigate symptoms of lung disease earlier.