When Sam’s Mum passed away from a brain tumor when he was barely 12 years old, Sam was so alone. To find out on top of this that he could also be separated from his younger sister was a devastating blow.
Sam was so scared and confused “What’s going to happen to us? Am I going to be put in foster care?” were scary questions that no one could answer, and he couldn’t stop thinking about what was going to happen to him and his little sister.
With the help of CanTeen, Sam and his sister were able to stay together but after a year or so, things changed. “Then at one stage I was told that my sister was going with one family and I was going with another.”
Sam was a lonely 12-year-old, missing his Mum and his sister. Having lost his entire family at this point, and facing a frighteningly uncertain future. He was in desperate need of support, but no one had shared his new situation or contact information with CanTeen.
“I was in the middle of nowhere and basically all I did was go to school, go back, just lock myself in my room…I grieved by myself” he remembers.
Fortunately, Sam is an incredibly resilient young man. He knew he needed help, and he trusted Nat, CanTeen’s Psychosocial Support Worker, so he found a CanTeen number and called her.
Through reconnecting with CanTeen Sam was able to attend counselling sessions and a range of camps and activities that helped him explore his grief and build relationship with other young people. Sam says that CanTeen gave him support, “like how to cope with my grief and … well not really forget about it, but put it behind my shoulder”… “knowing that there’s other people like you and people listen to you and understand what you’re going through”.
Things were looking better for Sam and when longtime friends of Sam’s Mum, Mick and Sue, reached out to offer him a new home it was like everything had fallen into place.
Sam had a family again and he finally had the understanding, love and support he needed. As Sam says “I’d always hide in my room, but CanTeen has shown me the light outside. Showed me the door, and I walked through it”
If not for the kindness of people like you, CanTeen would simply not be available to young people like Sam, broken with grief and in his case, no idea what was going to happen to him after his Mum died. Thank you for giving Sam a second chance.