Since losing her mother to breast cancer, Maike van Niekerk has become an advocate for cancer patients in Atlantic Canada. Through her advocacy, she hopes to raise awareness and to inspire others to create change. Along with initiating Katrin’s Karepackage, she continues to volunteer 25 hours a week for primarily organizations that aid cancer patients, including the Ronald McDonald House, Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Cancer Society. While completing an oncology-focused nursing degree, she is conducted research on the psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis on Indigenous peoples. She is currently completing her PhD in Psychiatry, with the hopes of developing novel psychiatric assessment and treatment tools for cancer patients. For her work with cancer patients, Maike has received the Rhodes Scholarship, the Governor General Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division), Plan Canada’s 2015 Top 20 Under 20 Award, The Newfoundland Red Cross Young Humanitarian of the Year 2015, The Newfoundland Division Canadian Cancer Society’s Inspirational Achievement in Youth Leadership, the Terry Fox Humanitarian Scholarship, and the Schulich Leadership Scholarship.

Twitter: @KKarepackage Facebook: Katrin’s Karepackage