Cancer patients across the Parkes Shire who rely on their cars to travel to and from treatment will benefit from new funding that Can Assist Parkes has received from greenslips.com.au.
The partnership between greenslips.com.au and Can Assist, a community-based volunteer network that provides financial and practical support to people affected by cancer and living in country NSW, was forged in 2019, with funding provided to help pay for cancer patients’ green slip insurance. To date, greenslips.com.au has supported 24 Can Assist branches across NSW and is committed to supporting more.
Patricia Bailey, Welfare Worker and Secretary with Can Assist Parkes, says the funding from greenslips.com.au will “help ease some of the burden”.
“When you live out here, you have to travel big distances to get to specialist cancer treatments,” she says. “Patients must travel 100km to Orange, 120km to Dubbo, or 350kms to Sydney – and then return home. Most patients use their own car or their family to take them, as it gives a sense of control when their body is not always in control. It helps to be able to visit the doctor and go straight home.
“The green slip payment by greenslips.com.au is another thing to help them along their way. It’s one less thing to worry about. It will make a big difference, because if they couldn’t get their green slip insurance it would be a challenge getting to treatment.”
Can Assist provides practical and financial support confidentially to cancer patients through travel, accommodation, medication and utility payments. Can Assist Parkes is supporting over 200 patients of different ages – from 18 months to those in their 90s – and who are at different stages of their cancer journey. In 2020 they helped 59 new cases. The new cases are largely a result of more young people being diagnosed with cancer. Last year the branch provided $180,000 in assistance, and they’re keen to help more patients in need, especially with donations from www.greenslips.com.au for their CTP green slip insurance.
“Most cancer patients or their carers – sometimes both – have to stop work, and their money can be gone very quickly because of the costs associated with cancer. They will have bills that they did not have before the cancer diagnosis, and $300 can make a big difference when they don’t have to find it,” says Adrienne Brown, Treasurer of Can Assist Parkes. “People sometimes borrow money because they’re too proud to ask for assistance. It’s so important we talk to people and make sure they know our assistance is available, and make sure they take the help they need.
“Having been a nurse, I’ve seen people struggle physically and emotionally. I have also seen how important it is to come forward and ask for help. There are financial, practical and emotional benefits available from Can Assist and all are as important as the other.”
Stephen Treacey, founder and owner of greenslips.com.au, a comparative CTP insurance site, says: “A cancer diagnosis in rural or remote NSW can bring the additional burden of travelling long distances to treatment, and we recognise the benefits of keeping local cancer patients’ cars on the road when they need them most.
“We also know how people living in the country are affected by a health crisis. We’ve seen the upheaval and disruption caused to people when they need to leave town for medical treatment. It’s great to be able to help at a grassroots level through Can Assist branches, like the one in Parkes. Our contribution goes directly to the branch to assist cancer patients that are supported by that branch.”
Can Assist Parkes is funded entirely by local donations, local fundraising events, and corporate support such as greenslips.com.au. All money raised locally stays local to help local cancer patients.
“There’s been an increase in people needing assistance, and we invite cancer patients to come forward and seek our support. It’s as simple as calling 0447 051 946. All patient enquiries and support are strictly confidential.”
For more information on how to support Can Assist, visit www.canassist.org.au.