Meet the Foodstuffs boss who never smoked but still got lung cancer

Foodstuffs boss Baden Ngan Kee has never smoked, exercised five days a week, ate a healthy diet – but still got lung cancer.

On World Lung Cancer Day, Ngan Kee speaks about the stigma of lung cancer being linked to smoking as an advocate for the Lung Foundation, dedicated to promoting healthy lungs and early detection of lung disease.

Ngan Kee, who lives in Auckland and is married with three young children says “we are now closer than ever even though the future is uncertain.”
“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.

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”.

Baden Ngan Kee is a well-respected executive who has forged a highly successful 25-year career, having held an impressive array of senior management roles, including General Manager Merchandise of Foodstuffs North Island, Cadbury, Goodman Fielder and General Manager of Retail Sales and Export at Fonterra.

In 2016 he 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.

“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.

Seafood company John West is calling on the industry to support Ngan Kee and the Lung Foundation through its sponsorship of the John West 12km Traverse at the ASB Auckland Marathon 2017.

Julian Ng, Simplot Group Brand Manager says, “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 Lung Foundation New Zealand and ask that other people in the industry join us to support this worthy cause.

Lung Cancer Facts:
1. Lung cancer is New Zealand’s biggest cancer killer – Five kiwis every day
die of lung cancer.
2. More people die of lung cancer, than of breast cancer, prostate cancer and
melanoma combined.
3. Lung cancer does not discriminate – even healthy people can develop lung

Lung Health Promotion:
1. Lung disease can affect anyone.
2. See a doctor if you have a persistent cough, shortness of breath,
chest pains or noisy breathing.
3. Lung disease can be treated. The earlier you start treatment the better.
4. Look after your lungs. Be active and don’t smoke.