Thursday, July 18, 2024

RNZAF flies in to lift spirits of young cancer patients

Eight young people supported by the charity CanTeen Aotearoa have been treated to a flight over Christchurch in a Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopter as part of Uplift in Kind.

Flight Lieutenant Hamish Park said it was a real pleasure to take the young people and their caregivers on a flight over the city.

“We are often helping local communities in different ways and it’s great to be able to help these families have a memorable experience,” “My first ride in a helicopter was certainly an experience that has stayed with me, so it’s pretty great to be able to share something similar with these families who are going through a challenging time,” Flight Lieutenant Park said.

“My first ride in a helicopter was certainly an experience that has stayed with me, so it’s pretty great to be able to share something similar with these families who are going through a challenging time.”

Uplift in Kind gives those who are less fortunate access to uplifting and aviation opportunities. It works with charities, such as CanTeen Aoteraoa, to gift young people access to a number of aviation experiences.

Uplift in Kind founder, Tony McCombe said the experience was an exciting one for all involved.

“The excitement and thrills we have been able to achieve for these families is immense, and we like to think that it will give hope to those who really need it,” he said.

“We are ecstatic about being able to join forces with the Air Force to make memories and cheeky smiles. The families are over the moon and we loved seeing the impact of another heartfelt mission come to life.”

CanTeen Aotearoa supports rangatahi/young people aged 13-24 across Aotearoa who have been affected by cancer. Whether dealing with their own diagnosis or cancer in their whānau, CanTeen provides a range of free support services, including individual support and therapy, peer support events, therapeutic programmes and camps, and online support.

National Manager of Psychosocial Services at CanTeen Aoteroa, Lucy Barnes said peer events were important because they supported rangatahi to connect with others who can understand what they’re going through.

“Our relationship with Uplift in Kind is important because of the special experiences they gift to rangatahi,” she said.

“Experiences like the one with the Air Force not only help give rangatahi a break from cancer, but it’s also something they and their whānau will remember forever.”

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