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CanTeen Event Regulars

29 Apr, 2022

CanTeen Event Regulars

Dubbed the Shepherd sisters, Christina, 22, and younger sister Alexandra, 15, are CanTeen event regulars. Their smiling faces have still shown up at CanTeen events, both face-to-face and online, for the past few years.

Christina was diagnosed with Right Thalamic Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma when she was 18 months old. Though she was young when she had cancer the effects of her treatment and having cancer while she was still developing brought on long term effects.

“I don’t have a peripheral vision on my right side, and my right arm and foot are weaker than my left.”

The Shepherd Sisters joined CanTeen when they turned 13 respectively and have attended a lot of events, including MKC, a regular face-to-face event in Christchurch, and numerous online events run by both Aotearoa and Australian CanTeen youth workers.

“Alexandra joined not long before covid, so we didn’t get to attend too many face-to-face events together, but we have joined a lot of online events; CanQueer, gaming events, drawing events, the virtual balls.” Christina shares.

“That was during the first lockdown; we got dressed up and had matching flower crowns. There were dancing activities and some prizes, and we got the best-dressed sisters!”

One event that the Shepherd sisters became regulars at is CanQueer, CanTeen’s online event for rangatahi who identify as part of the queer community, as well as fabulous allies. It’s a fun, safe space for rangatahi to join, be themself, and celebrate their diversity.

“I like it because everyone in the group has something in common and the same people continue to join. It’s easier to make connections with the same people – particularly over Zoom – and it’s fun!” Said Christina.

Alexandra added that “there are a lot of activities we’ve done, and people have shared stories of their experiences.”

So, what is it that keeps the sisters coming back to CanTeen events?

“It’s a fun time to hang out in this crazy hectic world.”

Events support rangatahi to form connections with others who can understand what they’re going through and help to reduce isolation and distress by providing rangatahi with a space to have a mental break and some fun.

See what events are coming up

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