Te Puea Marae provides support for rangatahi battling cancer

Te Puea Marae is providing support for a 16-year-old teen battling cancer and her whānau.

They arrived at the marae on Tuesday 14 June. By the end of the week, it was confirmed a house had been secured for them.

The Te Puea Memorial Marae Manaaki Tangata Facebook page posted a status saying, the teenager, referred to as "B", became homeless after moving to Auckland from hamilton to receive treatment.

"B" and her whānau moved to Auckland following the death of her close cousin who died at Hunua Falls in March.

"We were just trying to get over my cousin’s funeral and then I got told that I have Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that there’s a tumour in my lower back. Everything, it all went down hill from there," the post reads. 

She has four siblings, her father is a solo parent and her mother is in Samoa. They left an overcrowded house.

"There were 15 people living at aunty's. I slept on a mattress in a room I shared with my little brothers. It wasn’t really good because the hospital said I had to wear a mask because I could easily get infected. It was nice to be around family, I didn’t want to talk about having cancer, we’d talk about my cousin, I miss him," the post continues.

"B's" dad has stopped working to focus on the family. 

"He would go to WINZ for appointments, he told them about me having cancer, about us. They did nothing. He went to Housing NZ, told them, they couldn’t find us a house “too full” they said “too full”. 

We were stuck at Aunty’s things got really tense, so we had leave. My Dad heard about what the marae was doing and said “let’s try the marae.”

"B" has only had one treatment of chemotherapy and has 5 to go. Her father takes her to Starship Hospital for regular blood tests.

"The first treatment it made me really cold, really weak and really sick. I hated being in hospital. The hardest part was losing my long hair, I always used to play with it and plait it. When my hair starting coming out, my tears started falling down. Two days it was all gone," "B" says.

Since the middle of May, Manaaki Tangata has provided shelter for more than 50 whānau. Currently, they have 33 whanau on site, 8 males, 5 females and 20 children. 

Maori Wardens also continue to do night drops to families sleeping in their cars in surrounding South Auckland suburbs.    

Te Kāea reporter, Ripeka Timutimu will have more on this tonight at 5:30pm.