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  • Rose
  • 16th Aug. 2019

It all happened so quickly

Rose was just 17 years old when her stepdad Paul was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma (a brain tumour). When you’re 17 years old and your dad is battling cancer, it can be easy to feel like no one understands what you’re going through.

Rose told us: “I felt distraught, anger and disbelief when I found out my stepdad’s diagnosis was terminal. It all happened so quickly and before I knew it my life had been turned upside down. I didn’t understand why something so unfair could happen to me and my family or how I was supposed to cope with losing someone I loved so much.”

Each year more than 3,500 young New Zealanders like Rose have to face the emotional distress of a parent’s cancer diagnosis. That’s at least 10 young people every day.

At CanTeen we know that the impact of a cancer diagnosis has a devastating ripple effect and the impact is not confined to the person diagnosed. When your mum or dad has cancer, every aspect of life changes and young people can feel scared, angry and alone.

CanTeen specialises in supporting young people with grief and loss and teaches coping strategies to increase a young person’s resilience.

Rose said: “Without CanTeen I think I’d be unconfident and miserable. I don’t think I would’ve found the inspiration to move forward from my grief and make the most out of my life. Losing my stepdad to cancer is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. But if there’s one positive thing I can take out of it – it would be CanTeen coming into my life.”

Click here to donate today and help make a difference to young people just like Rose.