For the members of CanTeen, the St. Bede’s fundraiser means something very different. The money we raise during our ‘Run For A Life’ enables CanTeen members to attend camps and programmes to enable them to move forward as they face the prospect of living their teenage lives with cancer.
CanTeen was established to ensure that no young person in New Zealand living with cancer should ever have to feel alone. Their mission statement is to support, develop and empower young people aged 13-24 years living with cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder and their teenage siblings. They do this by providing a peer support network and focused educational and developmental programmes to assist them in moving forward with their lives.
On being diagnosed with cancer, young people face an enormous upheaval as they struggle with issues of isolation from their families, friends, school, and in not being a part of a ‘normal’ teenage peer group. Contact with other young people from CanTeen who have “been there, done that” gives them the support they need to be able to cope with this upheaval. CanTeen also supports their teenage brothers and sisters as many of these issues also impact on them. CanTeen does not receive government funding, and is reliant on its own fundraising efforts as well as sponsorships and donations to deliver programs to enable young people living with cancer to move forward with their lives.