"It was super isolating when she passed away"

Tui's mum was diagnosed and passed away with cancer, which left her feeling isolated.

"In 2012, on Christmas Eve, my mum was diagnosed with colon cancer. It was stage four and it was in lots of secondary places as well. At that time, it was just me and mum living alone, and in 2016, my mum passed away from complications. This is when I connected with Canteen."

"After this, it was very isolating as I was the only one in the house. I was quiet alone so I moved him with other family members, but they hadn't quite experienced what I had. I just didn't really know what to do with myself and my mum had mentioned Canteen before she had passed away, we just never had got around to it."

Canteen supports rangatahi impacted by cancer, whether it's cancer in their whānau or their own diagnosis.

"I was able to connect with other people whose parents currently have or previously had cancer, and so we were able to share our experiences and kind of just bond and kind of feel the world out with each other and know that we weren't kind of alone which was really great."

Canteen connects rangatahi with others who understand waht they're going through.

"I think they were all here because of something not great happened in our lives, but at least something good came out of it we got to meet each other and we get to go and have these distractions which is really helpful for your mental health."

"Having events to go on and have genuine fun again, whether that be yeah four wheel driving or we're going horse trekking, or back in Dunedin we went to laser tag, it was just things like that where you could be an actual kid again because sometimes uh when you're in certain situations you don't get to be a kid. It really sucks so doing fun stuff like that is just really great to be a kid"

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tui wearing a canteen bandanna and a red sweater. she is smiling at the camera