Amanda (Left), 17yrs CanTeen Sibling and Offspring Member and sister Samantha (Right), 22yrs CanTeen Patient and Offspring Member
At the most vulnerable time of her life, Amanda had to endure painful and frightening medical procedures and terrible feelings of fear, confusion and guilt. Will you help a young person like Amanda to get their life back on track?
Amanda's heartbreaking words show only too clearly what young people dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of cancer have to go through. She was just 12 years old, and had already had to deal with the trauma of her mother's breast cancer diagnosis, when her elder sister Samantha was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a form of cancer that attacks the lymph glands.
When Sam's cancer returned after chemotherapy, the family was told that there was no point in trying chemo again as it wouldn't stop the cancer from coming back again. She needed a stem cell transplant, and Amanda, then 14, was found to be the only exact match.
It's hard to imagine the fear, pressure and dread a girl of only 14 feels when she finds out that only she can save her sister's life. Amanda had to go through an incredibly stressful process of screenings, blood tests, injections and transfusions, spending day after day in hospital and enduring physically and mentally painful procedures in order to prepare her cells for the transplant.
Many young people dealing with cancer feel unable to talk even to their closest friends. They end up feeling frightened, confused and most of all, alone. By supporting CanTeen, you help provide a safe and non-judgemental space where young people can open up about their feelings and find friends in the same circumstances who understand what they are going through.
Crucially for Amanda and for her family, the friends she found through CanTeen's peer support program were able to help her get through this incredibly difficult time.
Bringing young people living with cancer together like this is the best way to help them deal with whatever obstacles cancer throws at them. All CanTeen programs give young people struggling to deal with cancer a much-needed chance to have fun, learn valuable coping skills, and share their thoughts and feelings with people their own age who actually understand what they're going through - because they've been through it themselves. The last element is so important, because it's this kind of peer support that most of our Members can't find anywhere else.
Without CanTeen's vital support services, thousands of young people like Amanda would be left to face the fear, pain and uncertainty of cancer alone.
More and more young people are now turning to us for help. Each year around 23,000 young people aged 12 to 24 will face a cancer diagnosis, either their own or that of a sibling or parent.
Through this appeal we need to raise $173,000 to meet the increasing demand for our peer support programs and services, ensuring that more young people like Amanda get the help they so urgently need.
By making a kind, tax-deductible gift you'll help CanTeen reach more young people living with cancer - and give them the support they need to get their lives back on track.
Please make a donation today. We can't do it without you!
Thank you for your support!