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Be awesome not awkward with a CanTeen Bandanna


September 21, 2011

Be awesome not awkward with a CanTeen Bandanna

At one time or another, we’ve all experienced an awkward moment, those times when you just want to bury your head in the sand, and wish the ground would open up and swallow you whole.

For many, it can be especially awkward around young people living with cancer. Quite often it’s hard to know what to do or say, but there’s a way to make those awkward moments into awesome ones this year, with a CanTeen bandanna.

The colourful range of bandannas goes on sale this Friday for CanTeen’s annual fundraiser, the Bandanna Challenge.

CanTeen Auckland patient member and designer of one of this year’s bandannas, Amanda Beaton, says wearing a bandanna is a way for people to show their support for young people and their siblings living with cancer, when sometimes it’s hard to know what to say.

The 24 year-old was diagnosed in 2008 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and has been through several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and a stem cell transplant in the last few years.

She can appreciate that people may feel awkward around young people with cancer, however there is no need to as they are just like anyone else.

“I understand that cancer also affects people I meet as it can be hard to know what to say.”

“A bandanna is a visual thing you can display that says “hey I support you” without any words.”

CanTeen’s Marketing and Communications Manager Kimberley Waters says: “We hope this year’s campaign will break down some of the barriers people feel when confronted with someone living with cancer and acknowledge that our members are just every day people.”

The range of eight bandannas, designed by CanTeen members and celebrity ambassadors including Dan Carter, Paige Hareb and Maria Tutaia can be purchased for $4 during the two weeks of the challenge, between September 23 and October 9, from PAK’n’SAVE, New World, Four Square, Farmers, BP, Repco, Burger King and Warehouse Stationery nationwide.

Volunteers from across New Zealand will also hit the pavement and malls around the country selling bandannas. They will be joined by schools from Northland to Southland throwing their support behind their peers living with cancer and taking the challenge to sell the most bandannas out of any school in the country.

The bandanna is a symbol for CanTeen representing hope, courage and survival and came about due to the fact that young people choose to wear one as a head covering when losing their hair when undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Kimberley says she hopes to see continued support throughout New Zealand during the Bandanna Challenge, CanTeen’s annual appeal for the year.

“CanTeen doesn’t receive any direct government funding so the funds raised during this campaign allow us to keep supporting young people living with cancer across the country through the various programmes, activities and support services we offer.”

Bandannas can also be bought online at or at hundreds of participating schools throughout New Zealand.

For the first time, bandannas will also be available for purchase via CanTeen’s Facebook page

A range of special bandannas, signed by celebrities such as Dan Carter, Shortland St stars and Sara Tetro, will also be going up for auction on TradeMe on September 23, check out

CanTeen is also calling for volunteers to help sell bandannas during the Bandanna Challenge. To find out more phone 0800 CANTEEN or email

- Ends -

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