A Guyra cancer patient, who is driving to Sydney each month to battle her disease, has received a small reprieve from community-based charity Can Assist.
The charity’s Guyra branch is paying the woman’s fuel costs each month to lighten the financial burden of fighting her cancer.
Branch president Bill Wicks said this type of assistance was exactly what Can Assist was there to do.
“We exist to help cancer sufferers and their families,” he said.
“And we react to people who make an approach to us.”
In this instance, it was the cancer centre in Armidale who approached Can Assist to see if they could help with one of their patients.
“The cancer centre in Armidale contacted Can Assist and said there was a lady who needs to go down to Sydney for cancer treatment, but she has to drive herself down and doesn’t have the money or is having difficulty finding the money to fill her car,” Mr Wicks said.
“So we said we would make arrangements for that.”
We exist to help cancer sufferers and their families- Can Assist Guyra branch president Bill Wicks
"We wrote a letter of authority [to the fuel station] that says when this lady comes in, fill her car up with fuel, and the next day our treasurer will come down and write you a cheque."
The charity is known for its work in regional NSW.
Its primary objective is to assist cancer patients with the cost of accessing treatment and there are now more than 50 branches across the state.
The cost of cancer treatment for regional and rural patients is often five times that of a patient living in a metropolitan area.
Many rural patients simply cannot afford the cost of accessing treatment, or the time away from their families and jobs.
People from rural areas, who are affected by cancer, are also 35 per cent more likely to die within five years of diagnosis than city patients. Mr Wicks said patients were so appreciative of their assistance.
“When I spoke to the lady, she just said ‘thank you very much, that makes my life a bit easier’,” he said.
Can Assist will continue to support the lady each month, for the rest of the year.
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