Kiwi designers spread Christmas cheer for CanTeen
5 November 2012
Kiwi designers spread Christmas cheer for CanTeen
Five young artists are spreading colour around the country for Christmas this year and raising funds for CanTeen.
All in their early 20s, CanTeen patient members Hannah Josephson, Munrith Longe Singh; sibling members Rosa Cameron and Millie O’Grady; and bereaved sibling member Rachel Allan, have all put their unique creative talents to use, designing CanTeen’s annual range of Christmas Cards.
Sales of the cards are the charity’s biggest fundraiser each year.
CanTeen’s National Marketing Manager Kimberley Waters says, as an organisation that receives no direct government funding, CanTeen relies on its own fundraising ventures and the support of the New Zealand public through purchasing its products such as Christmas cards or making donations.
“Our member designers have done such a great job this year and we hope New Zealand will get behind them to support CanTeen during the Christmas season, a difficult time for many of our members who may be spending Christmas in hospital, away from their families or experiencing their first Christmas without their sibling.”
CanTeen is a national peer support organisation for young people aged 13 to 24 living with cancer as a patient, sibling or bereaved sibling. Members are able to share their experiences with other young people who know what it is like to deal with cancer.
CanTeen Christmas cards come in packs of 10 for
$18, and are available by calling 0800 22 34 34 or online at
For more information on CanTeen please visit www.canteen.org.nz.
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Designer bios and details of each design
CanTeen patient member Hannah Josephson (22), Auckland
Hannah, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was 10 years old, has designed a card, despite experiencing debilitating side effects of cancer treatment such as blindness and permanent hair loss. Her design, a scene of cute, surf-lifesaving Kiwi birds in Santa hats on the beach, sums up a New Zealand Christmas for her, she says.
Hannah jumped at the opportunity to design a card and give something back to the charity which she says has given her so much in the last eight years.
“CanTeen is a place to go where you can meet, talk and share your experience with other people who are in the same position. We’re like a family.”
Hannah says having cancer has certainly not stopped her living life to the fullest. She has finished school and is studying for a certificate as a child counsellor.
CanTeen patient member Munrith Longe Singh (22), Auckland
Munrith, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour, says her design is inspired by the organisation which has been there for her all along.
“Candy canes held in baskets depict us – CanTeeners – being held by our angel, CanTeen.”
CanTeen sibling member Rosa Cameron (20), Dunedin
Christmas took on a very different meaning for Rosa and her family in 2011 when her older brother was diagnosed with cancer on Christmas Eve.
“It made for a pretty rough Christmas, even though we have a huge, hilarious family and Christmas is usually pretty choice,” she says.
The experience was the inspiration behind her Christmas card artwork. “My design depicts our family Christmas tree as it’s always Manuka and really beautiful.”
Rosa says she jumped at the opportunity to give something back to the organisation which has helped her through a difficult year. “As a sibling you go through your own personal cancer experience and CanTeen recognises that.
“I’ve come to realise 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 I think is really important.”
CanTeen sibling member Millie O’Grady (21), Christchurch
President of the Canterbury/West Coast branch, Millie has been a CanTeen member since 2007 when her younger sister was diagnosed with leukaemia and says she had no idea how much it would affect her.
“The really hard part was knowing there was nothing I could do to ease her pain,” says Millie.
“You quickly learn to treasure every moment, learn the true power of a smile and the reassurance of a hug.”
Millie says her Christmas card, a tranquil scene of a beach and surfboard with a Maori design, captures the Kiwi summer and culture.
CanTeen bereaved sibling member Rachel
Allan (21), Christchurch
Former Canterbury/West Coast president Rachel Allan, regularly lends her creative talents to CanTeen, designing a bandanna for last year’s Bandanna Challenge and a Christmas card for the second year this year.
Rachel, who lost her older brother to a brain tumour in 2010, says CanTeen has played a huge part in helping her with the difficult transition of sibling to only child.
“CanTeen has been the best support I could ask for. I have never felt more understood and accepted than when I am at CanTeen,” says Rachel.
“My Christmas card design includes all the things that I believe represent a perfect summer time Christmas.”