These six original designs were painted by CanTeen members from around New Zealand and CanTeen ambassador Maria Tutaia.
Samuel Gwynn, Alumni Member and Patient Member, Wellington
When I was four, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour (astrocytoma). I'm now 26 so I've left CanTeen but I'm part of their Alumni Programme, which means I can keep in touch with other ex-CanTeen members. The opportunities I've had through CanTeen are awesome and I appreciate the support I've received and friendships I've made. I sometimes wonder how different life may have been without cancer. However, having been through cancer, it makes me more determined to live life positively and never hold back. It's awesome participating in the peer support programmes at CanTeen where everyone has a similar reason to be there. A lifelong story of survival is the inspiration behind my greeting card design.
Mikayla Archer, Sibling Member, New Plymouth
In 2010, my younger sister Emma was diagnosed with cancer at the age of two. My immediate thought was to remain optimistic as I knew my fear would reflect on her, but deep down, I was terrified. Her illness made me feel very alone. I knew my parents needed to be right there with her but I was still only 15; I needed support too. CanTeen has helped me understand that I'm never alone and there are hundreds of people out there, just like me. CanTeen has provided a sort of second family that I can trust and rely on. The idea behind my design is basically how CanTeen makes me feel. It's also about how we're all so unique, but feel so comfortable together because we're going through the same things. I wanted to design something that would bring joy to others.
Rosa Cameron, Sibling Member, Dunedin
On Christmas Eve in 2011, my older brother was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 22. As a young person, I think it's awesome that CanTeen exists to provide a support network for patients and their siblings. As a sibling, you go through your own personal cancer experience and CanTeen recognises that. I've realised that it's normal to be related to someone who has cancer and there are so many of us out there. CanTeen cultivates a positive environment, which is really important.
Anna Blandford, Alumni Member and Bereaved Sibling Member, Wellington
After my older brother Scott lost his battle with Neuroblastoma cancer, CanTeen became my home away from home; a place I felt safe and met fantastic people who shared similar experiences. CanTeen is like a second family to me, filled with inspirational people who have grown to be my best buddies. I'm now 25, so I've farewelled CanTeen, however I have many achievements to show for it, including sitting on the MAC (Member Advisory Committee) for five years and Board for two years where I got to be the voice of our members. I've had heaps of fun and have learnt many positive things along the way, thanks to CanTeen. I was inspired by the elements of New Zealand and its beautiful nature. I wanted to bring them together in a contemporary way for all to enjoy.
Rachel Allan, Bereaved Sibling Member, Christchurch
I joined CanTeen when my brother Ben was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the end of 2007. Unfortunately, after a short, brave battle, Ben passed away in January 2010. CanTeen is a place where I can be myself. The 'been there, done that' philosophy creates an environment that makes me feel understood and accepted. I've learnt so much about myself and developed skills and confidence that I wouldn't have without CanTeen. My design is a reflection of all the things that CanTeen means to me. It's really hard to put into words exactly what CanTeen has given me but I've given it a go. The colours also reflect my home province, Canterbury.
Maria Tutaia, Silver Fern Netballer and CanTeen Ambassador
I joined CanTeen's amazing team as an Ambassador in 2008 at the age of 21. I saw it as a great opportunity to support my peers. In that time, I've met some incredible young people, who in my eyes are extraordinary and brave. I know CanTeen makes a difference because I've seen it first-hand. They do an amazing job making young people feel that they're never alone on their journey. CanTeen is a great organisation and the people who work there are absolutely committed to supporting, developing and empowering their members. Being a New Zealander and a Silver Fern, the fern means a lot to me; symbolising my family, life and home. This was why I chose to use a fern for my design. Adding my personal flavour to it with a splash of pink, it is girly but still distinctly New Zealand.