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Canteen gives support to youth

Crystal Trost, 15, joined Canteen after her step dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Crystal Trost, 15, joined Canteen after her step dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Tom Huntley

IT WAS a proper meltdown. And Crystal Trost, 15, felt all alone.

So she texted an adult she could trust: Canteen member liaison officer Kate Hoogeveen.

Kate rang straight away and spoke to Crystal for 10 minutes.

It has been a tough year for Krystal. Her stepdad Paul was diagnosed with bowel cancer in April. It is stage four, meaning it's inoperable.

"I don't know if it's terminal," Crystal said.

Canteen has been a saving grace for Crystal.

The support group put her in touch with other teens who have been affected by cancer. Teens like Mitchell Flintoff, 13. The Calliope boy's mum died of urethra cancer on January 12 last year.

"It came as a shock," Mitchell said.

But Canteen has taught him some coping skills.

Mitchell and Crystal went to a Canteen camp at Yandina on the Sunshine Coast this winter.

Mitchell said it's comforting to be around other young people who know the score. Crystal agreed. She said it was tough to talk to her school mates about her dad.

SUPPORT

Canteen supports 12 to 24-year-olds living with cancer. That includes:

  • Patients - diagnosed with cancer
  • Siblings and offspring - have an immediate family member (brother, sister, parent or primary carer) who has been diagnosed with cancer
  • Bereaved siblings and offspring - have had an immediate family member die from cancer

Topics:  cancer youth



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