I can’t remember the last time I was this happy

Bailee was 15 years old when she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and her entire life was turned upside down. It meant she had to spend a lot of time in the hospital, far away from home comforts, and take on distressing changes at a young age.

“It was a miracle I’d lived for so long. I received 6 months of intense IV chemo with 14 days of radiation.

It impacted my day-to-day life severely; my mum and I had to pack up and basically move to Ronald McDonald House South Island as I had to be treated at Christchurch Hospital.

It left me with severe anxiety and PTSD.”

"It was a miracle I’d lived for so long.”

Canteen has been able to support Bailee from the beginning, through both the ups and downs. “I have fallen into some pretty deep holes along the way, but my family (by blood) and my Canteen family have pulled me out of those each time. They have made my life that much more amazing.”

One of Bailee’s favourite stories during her time with Canteen was on a flight to Christchurch for an event. “Another member from Wellington and I ended up instantly clicking, and from that one-hour flight she became my best friend and one of my most favourite people in the world.”

Bailee finished treatment just after she turned 16 years old and in 2018, she received her official discharge letter.

For Bailee, an important part of her journey happened after she received her discharge letter and was surrounding fertility. “Chemo rapidly decreased my fertility, but on October 19, 2020, after years of stress, we have managed to harvest two healthy eggs.”

"I can’t remember the last time I was this happy – I cried tears of joy during the entire procedure.”  

Feeling like she has now taken control of her fertility, Bailee is looking forward to getting back into her nursing studies.

Supporting Canteen means being there for rangatahi like Bailee, throughout their journey.

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bailee wearing a beige sweater and wearing glasses. she is smiling at the camera