This year marks three years since NSW's largest cancer support network Can Assist partnered with greenslips.com.au - and recently Can Assist Forbes became the 39th branch to receive vital funds to help keep local cancer patients' cars on the road.
Can Assist provides practical and financial support to cancer patients in Forbes and surrounding townships, through fuel vouchers, pharmaceuticals, medical expenses, food vouchers, accommodation and now CTP green slips insurance.
President John Schrader, himself a cancer survivor, says Can Assist gets requests for green slip payments and that the donation from greenslips.com.au will be well used.
"The only way to get to treatment is by motor vehicle as we don't have public transport. It is not like living in the city where you can get a train or bus; it's harder out here in the bush. Most cancer treatment is in Orange, Parkes or further afield, while PET scans must be done in Sydney," he said.
It's a view echoed by Maureen Field, Can Assist Forbes Treasurer, saying that people rely on their cars to travel to and from treatment.
"The only other option is community transport, but it doesn't provide the same freedom and flexibility. Using your own car gives you freedom of movement for the many and various medical appointments. We estimate we'll spend around $11,000 on clients' travel expenses this year."
The donation comes at a time when Can Assist Forbes is helping an increasing number of cancer patients after a lull during the pandemic.
"The numbers dropped in the early years of COVID but they're coming thick and fast now," Maureen said.
"We help up to 70 clients, some need a lot of assistance, while others don't need as much. And we have some clients we've been helping for many years."
And that support goes beyond financial help.
"We have delivered firewood, moved furniture, helped with patient transport. We are open to whatever assistance the patient needs and wants - but mostly it's financial assistance," John said.
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