Canteen Youth Ambassador Joshua Bell survived a rare form of liver cancer when he was just 18 months old. Now, at 18 years old, Josh is giving back to the community of young people who helped him deal with his ongoing health issues by being an ambassador for National Bandanna Day this Friday 30 October.
“When I was just a toddler, I was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a type of liver cancer. While chemotherapy ultimately saved my life, it also burdened me with ongoing health complications. And surgery left a scar across my stomach that serves as a reminder to cherish every second of life as a gift.
“From the start of my schooling, I could tell I was ‘different’ to everyone else. I was absent from school so often that my peers and teachers often thought I was faking my illness so I could miss class. Growing up is hard when even adults don’t understand your pain.
“The way I see it, the art I create is my gift back to life, which is why I designed my own Canteen bandanna titled ‘Steez’. It is only available to buy online. It reflects youth culture with an anti-cancer attitude. It’s my seed of optimism, planted in the hope that it will blossom into wellbeing for the next generation.
“I’m incredibly honored to speak for young people impacted by cancer as an ambassador for National Bandanna Day. Every bandanna is a symbol of resilience and hope. And, when a young person sees people wear it, it helps to lift them up in the face of hardship.”
Please show your support for young people impacted by cancer, like Joshua, and buy a bandanna today: bandannaday.org.au