Inspired by the work of a young woman, an area designed for teens battling cancer has opened in Winnipeg.

The Teen Zone room at CancerCare Manitoba was the idea of Kendra McBain. She fought a rare form of cancer before passing away at the age of 18 in December 2009.

"When Kendra first started coming for treatment…it wasn't teen friendly. It was open—there wasn't a lot of privacy," said Tammy McBain, Kendra's mother.

In spring 2009, Kendra created a walk event which raised $160,000, enough money for the new Teen Zone room, along with supplying funds for a support group for teens with cancer. The money is also being used for research.

"One of the things that was important to Kendra (was) to be able to support research into rhabdomyosarcoma and other teen cancers," said Annita Stenning from the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the type of cancer Kendra was diagnosed with as a teen. Of the approximately 12 Manitoba teenagers diagnosed with cancer every year, about one or two will have rhabdomyosarcoma.

Just a few months before she died, Kendra spoke of her desire to help others.

"I want my life to have meaning and if I'm not on this earth long enough to become a nurse, I want to have done something to help people in my time while I'm here," said Kendra in October 2009.

While Kendra did not live to see the room for teens at CancerCare completed, she did play a significant role in its design.

"She did pick all the furniture, all the fabrics, all the colours," said Tammy McBain. "She would have been thrilled."

The second annual Kendra's Walk event to raise funds for teens with cancer will be held on June 4 at St. John's-Ravenscourt School at 3 p.m.

More information is available on the event's website at

- with a report from CTV's Eleanor Coopsammy