Cancer Council Queensland has partnered with Icon Cancer Centre to expand its home-to-treatment transport service to include the Moreton Bay region.
The Transport to Treatment service, which currently operates in inner-city Brisbane, will now transport eligible cancer patients from their homes in North Brisbane to and from North Lakes and Redcliffe treatment centres, at no cost to the patient.
Icon Cancer Centre donated the vehicle for the service, giving practical assistance to patients struggling to access and afford transport options.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said the charity was proud to partner with Icon Cancer Centre to expand the service.
“Providing adequate support services to cancer patients is a key part of our mission and this expansion enables us to reach out to even more people with practical solutions that make a difference,” Ms McMillan said.
“A cancer diagnosis can have a significant impact on an individual practically and financially, but this service will help ease the burden of transport and parking costs for those facing hardship.
“More than 10,100 people in the greater Brisbane region are diagnosed with cancer each year and need our support.”
Ms McMillan said the door-to-door service will be staffed entirely by volunteer drivers from Monday to Friday.
“Since the initial service launched in Brisbane, our volunteers have assisted cancer patients through 950 bookings, and covered over 22,500kms transporting patients to treatment,” Ms McMillan said.
“We simply could not do what we do without the spirit, determination, and enthusiasm of our volunteers – they are the heart of our work.
“Our transport volunteers help ensure that no one goes through cancer alone.”
84-year-old Brian Harris, Burpengary resident and local parish priest is looking forward to the introduction of this service.
This treatment lasted several weeks, with radiation therapy treatment every day for five weeks. In that time, Brian was unable to travel to and from the centre independently.
“I was able to get to my first couple of appointments by myself, but after a few treatments, I began to feel nauseous and tired and realised I could no longer drive to and from my appointments,” he said.
“Thankfully, I could rely on my parish to get me to and from the centre, but many people unfortunately don’t have the means or support of family and friends for help like this.
“When you are getting treatment you already feel awful, and there are so many things to think about, so you don’t want to be worrying about how you are going to get there.
“If this service had been available to me, I would have definitely considered it. It’s simply wonderful to hear that cancer patients in the area will now have this option available to them.”
Icon Group CEO Mark Middleton welcomed the expansion and partnership.
“We are proud to have a long-standing relationship with Cancer Council who do incredible work to support cancer patients. A cancer diagnosis is a challenging and stressful time for patients and their families, so it is essential that patients have the choice to access the services they need within their community and support network,” Mr Middleton said.
“This transport program will help patients avoid arduous long journeys to distant health facilities and is another example of Icon’s commitment to ensuring that patients are able to have treatment close to home.”
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or via 13 11 20.
For more information about Icon Cancer Centre visit www.iconcancercentre.com.au.
For more information, please contact:
Laura McKoy, Manager, Public Relations, Cancer Council Queensland
P. (07) 3634 5345 or 0409 001 171