Ban­dan­nas are a head start for can­cer kids

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

The sup­port of fel­low can­cer pa­tients helped Kylie Rose through a dif­fi­cult time in her life.

Af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with bone can­cer in her knee at age 16, the San­dring­ham res­i­dent went through sev­eral op­er­a­tions and chemo­ther­apy to get back on track.

And teenage can­cer char­ity Can­Teen was there for Kylie, now 22, all the way.

“Can­Teen ap­proached me in hospi­tal. The first time you go in, you don’t know what’s go­ing on,” she says.

The char­ity is sell­ing ban­dan­nas this week for its Ban­danna Chal­lenge cam­paign.

Kylie says one of the ad­van­tages of Can­Teen is pa­tients can meet oth­ers their own age, who are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the same thing.

“It was the fact you can be sur­rounded by peo­ple who know what you’re go­ing through,” she says.

“They don’t look at you like you’re a bit dif­fer­ent. It’s just a com­mon un­der­stand­ing.”

And now the AUT stu­dent, who has been in re­mis­sion for two years, is giv­ing back to Can­Teen.

She serves on the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s com­mit­tee, sets up group ac­tiv­i­ties and has been sell­ing ban­dan­nas to raise funds.

But her favourite part of re­main­ing in­volved is be­ing able to of­fer sup­port to teens who’ve just been di­ag­nosed with can­cer.

“It’s great to help out other kids com­ing through,” she says.

Can­Teen mar­ket­ing man­ager Brad Clark says the or­gan­i­sa­tion tries to fill a gap for teens who can be put in hospi­tal with peo­ple much younger or older than them­selves.

“There’s no age spe­cific fa­cil­i­ties.”

He says sup­port net­works are linked with sur­vival rates and the char­ity is de­ter­mined to try and stop teens from “fall­ing be­tween the cracks”.

The Ban­danna Chal­lenge fin­ishes on Fri­day.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Ban­danna Chal­lenge visit www.can­teen. org.nz.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Giv­ing back: Can­cer sur­vivor Kylie Rose is help­ing teen can­cer char­ity Can­Teen by sell­ing ban­dan­nas dur­ing the Ban­danna Chal­lenge cam­paign.

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