At 17, and in remission from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Teah is starting her life all over again. From her friendships to the future she had imagined for herself, her cancer diagnosis disrupted everything.
“My friends that I used to have, they’re not really there anymore. At the start of my treatment they were there, but now, at the end, they’re not here for me anymore. They grew up. Cancer has knocked me in a completely different direction! My life is just so different now and I never thought it would be this different,” the young West Australian said.
Teah spent two lonely years away from her home in Perth’s outer suburbs, undergoing treatment for her leukaemia. When she returned from hospital, rebuilding her life wasn’t easy. Teah was put in touch with a Redkite Social Worker who is helping her figure things out.
“I needed counselling and someone referred me to Lis. She was my counsellor and my social worker and she helped me with so much. I told her about everything, and what I was having problems with, and she helped me find the solutions. I felt better talking to someone like Lis.”
With her Redkite Social Worker’s help, Teah is taking practical steps to get her life back on track, including setting up a bank account and applying for Youth Allowance to get the independence other young people take for granted. Teah even has a career path in her sights.
“I would love to get my licence and that freedom to drive anywhere. I would love to get a job. I want to be a phlebotomist [responsible for collecting biological samples from patients]. I’ve got my blood test done so many times, I just feel like I would ace being a phlebotomist.”
The support Redkite provides to young people is designed to go at their pace and meet their specific needs, including how they prefer to connect with the service. Teah and her Redkite Social Worker talked regularly over video but met in person on a hospital visit for one her regular health checks.
“It’s really good that we met up because I can explain more. She really understood what I was saying and that made me feel really comfortable. I could say what I was having trouble with.
“If I didn’t have Lis right now, I would not know where to start. I would be staying home, not doing anything. I wouldn’t know where to start my life again, or even have that motivation to be excited to go out and try.”
Thanks to the support of the Dry July Foundation, Redkite can help young people like Teah access support when they need it most.