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Canteen Funds New Zealand's First Adolescent Oncology Facility

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Canteen Funds New Zealand's First Adolescent Oncology Facility

2 April 2009 - CanTeen is proud to partner the Starship Foundation with its support of New Zealand's first dedicated adolescent oncology facility at Starship Hospital.

The CanTeen funded adolescent oncology facility addresses the need for age-specific facilities to improve patient outcomes. While Auckland Hospital has catered for adult cancer patients and Starship for children, there has never been a facility that specifically cares for adolescent and young adult patients.

CanTeen has contributed almost half a million dollars to the adolescent facility designed in conjunction with CanTeen Members.

``As a teenage cancer patient, the concept of a new ward is really exciting. Members of CanTeen have designed the adolescent area specifically to meet our needs. We have gone through the treatment process ourselves so know first hand what is missing or is needed for teenagers to feel comfortable while staying in hospital,'' says CanTeen Member Kathy Lee.

With around 180 young people diagnosed with cancer every year in NZ, the adolescent oncology facility will come as a huge relief to young people living with cancer who have, up until now, been rooming with children or adults. Often referred to as The Lost Generation, these patients have fallen between the cracks, missing out on age specific treatment and facilities proven to increase survival rates. Recovery rates for CanTeen aged patients lag behind those of children and adults and this facility helps address the issue.

``There were only 10 single rooms available which means some patients had to use the dreaded Room 2, where four patients had to share a room. Ward 27B is made up of patients of all ages ranging from infants up to teenagers. There is not much privacy with only a curtain separating the patients, not to mention the smells, sounds, and noise!'' says Lee.

The CanTeen funded adolescent oncology facility is part of a larger re-build of the Starship Oncology and Haematology Ward and is a great example of cooperation between two leading charities focused on young people in New Zealand.

``Our partnership with CanTeen on the adolescent facility was the catalyst to consider a re-build of the whole ward and we would like to thank CanTeen, their members and supporters for helping this ground breaking initiative happen,'' says Andrew Young, CEO of the Starship Foundation.

According to David Pearce, CanTeen Chief Executive the new adolescent facility would not have been possible without the support of major partner Foodstuffs, and the generous New Zealand public. This support has also enabled CanTeen to earmark almost half a million dollars for this facility.

``CanTeen aged young people have it tough enough facing challenges of identity, independence, relationships and employment and education. Throw cancer into the equation and it's not hard to see why a cancer experience can threaten development and test coping strategies. The reality is this new oncology facility is a better deal for young people negotiating their cancer journey,'' says Pearce.

Starship's new Oncology and Haematology Ward will be officially opened in May.

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