Each year, scores of cancer patients from Forbes and surrounding townships receive support from the amazing volunteers at Can Assist Forbes, the cancer support network that does incredible things.
Can Assist Forbes recently became the 39th branch to receive vital funds to help keep local cancer patients’ cars on the road since the partnership between Can Assist and greenslips.com.au was established three years ago. The donation comes at a critical time after fundraising was stymied by the pandemic.
This means Can Assist will expand its practical and financial support to cancer patients from fuel vouchers, pharmaceuticals, medical expenses, food vouchers, accommodation to now include CTP green slips insurance. President John Schrader, a cancer survivor, said the donation would be well used. “The only way to get to treatment is by vehicle as we don’t have public transport. Most cancer treatment is in Orange, Parkes or further afield, while PET scans must be done in Sydney.”
Can Assist Forbes Treasurer Maureen Field said: “People rely on their cars to travel to and from treatment. 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 greenslips.com.au donation comes at a time when Can Assist Forbes is helping an increasing number of cancer patients after a lull during the pandemic. “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,” said Maureen.
The support goes beyond financial help. “We have delivered firewood, moved furniture, and helped with patient transport. We are open to whatever assistance the patient needs and wants – but mostly it’s financial assistance,” said John.
What sets Can Assist apart from other charities is that all money raised locally stays local to help local cancer patients. The branch is funded entirely by local donations, local fundraising events, and corporate support such as greenslips.com.au, a CTP green slip insurance price comparison and information website that does not sell green slips. “We don’t cut people off, we help them. It gets really tough, especially if you’re not working or have large medical costs,” said Maureen. “You can see the relief on people’s faces when they know their bill will be paid, and $300-$400 on a green slip is a lot of money.”
GREATER AWARENESS AND SUPPORT NEEDED
John feels it’s vital that more people know about Can Assist and the support it provides. “Prior to my cancer treatment I had no awareness of Can Assist, but during my treatment I met other cancer patients and became aware of Can Assist’s great work.”
He urges local cancer patients to get in touch if they need financial support. “We are always encouraging people that if they have a cancer diagnosis to please contact us. Due to privacy laws, we need them to come to us. We need everyone to be aware of Can Assist so we can help more people in our community.”
Can Assist Forbes welcome new members and volunteers to help with the crucial work it does.