Hi, I’m Miki, I have a mum and a dad and a tall little brother. The reason I connected with CanTeen was my brother being diagnosed with leukemia. It was half way during my year 12 exams in 2016, I got a call after one of my tests, “we’re at the hospital, don’t think too much of it, there’s a frozen meal in the microwave.” But I found myself unable to study. I don’t really remember the next months, I was in a haze, closed myself off from my friends and family. Then I was nudged into CanTeen, a family of friendly people who help support young Australians aged 12-25 who are dealing with cancer. I was comforted, CanTeen had provided me with a safe space where I could be myself again. Nobody pressured me to tell my story or explain why I was there. When people think of CanTeen, some think of kids sitting at camp telling their ghost stories. Instead my first activity was a small group of artists just having fun and talking about mindfulness.
I’ve become a youth ambassador for CanTeen as a way to be able to let people who travel the journey of cancer know that they are not alone. Sometimes it can feel like it, but when there are amazing services such as the in-office activities and the staff who are always happy to chat, the road to normality is so much easier to travel.