Canteen Cares

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Canteen is the only organisation in Australia that supports young people aged 12-25 who are impacted by cancer—be it their own cancer diagnosis, that of a family member or the death of a loved one.

Canteen supports young people while they cope with the physical, psychological and social challenges that cancer brings. Our 24/7 free and tailored support services include:

  • Counselling services (online, phone and face-to-face)
  • Programs and services
  • Education and leadership programs
  • Hospital-based treatment
  • Information and resources

Every year in Australia, more than 23,000 young people are impacted by cancer.

Canteen exists to provide practical and emotional support to help young people:

  • explore their feelings about cancer
  • connect with other young people and
  • if they’ve been diagnosed themselves, we provide youth-specific treatment teams

Because of your kindness and generosity, Canteen can continue supporting young people and their families impacted by cancer. Every cent that we raise helps! We felt the need to share Nate’s story to help our network understand the impact of our partners additional funding.

Nate’s story

Nate was diagnosed with a brain tumour at age 10 with a Grade II astrocytoma, in simpler terms, a brain tumour.

It was a shock for him and his family. Nate desperately wanted life to feel normal, but he was in treatment for years, and he felt too sick and exhausted to keep up with school or sport. He had seven surgeries in a month, followed by two years of chemotherapy. Ten years after his diagnosis, he is still undergoing treatment and living with the impact of his cancer.

“I was in and out of hospital. I felt my mental health deteriorate and I was a very closed off person”.

 Canteen support services helped Nate find joy and positivity when he was at his lowest point.

Thankfully he found Canteen and the peer support programs we offer. He first attended a cancer survivor support group.

“We spent an hour or two talking and sharing our cancer experiences, which brought me hope for the future ahead,” he says. “Canteen helped reignite my confidence and I finally feel like myself again.”

Power of peers

Our programs are created with and for young people living with cancer, so they can talk to others with a similar experience and develop strategies to cope. Recreation days give them an escape from cancer. Canteen programs offer vital opportunities for young people to share their experiences.

Social events help young people make friends and support each other.

“Canteen gave me the courage to live my life just like anyone else my age. “

Our life-changing services support the mental health of young people like Nate, so they have the strength to get through their diagnosis and treatment.

If you think that Canteen’s services would help you or someone you know, visit canteen.org.au for information.