Voluntary Support- By Brian

by Brian (Other) - Metropolitan Adelaide

My son was 25 years old when diagnosed with non hodgkins, 6 months married and had moved to Murray Bridge 3 months earlier. Chemo therapy fortnightly for 6 months in Adelaide and talk of possible radiation followup, thankfully wasn’t needed.

The situation did highlight to my family how lifestyles not just of the patient but of supporters can be impacted for an unknown future period. We found right from the first visit to the specialist full on professional approach from every medical person we had to deal with. This resulted in me approaching the Cancer Council SA re voluntary work available and almost 5 years on I have enjoyed every minute of being a bus driver transporting patients and carers to and from hospital.

In the last 18 months I have also been driving for the Leukaemia Foundation which involves mostly suburban patients and greatly enhancing my satisfaction gained from meeting a large cross section of people.

Both organisations offer great support from the initial contact patients have with the staff in arranging accommodation and the transport options available for the period of treatment because they are fully aware of the advantages to both patients and carers of the need to reduce stress where possible.

Apprehension abounds with new arrivals at the Cancer Council motels but within days patients discover people from same home towns, friends of friends and a support base starts to grow because basically everybody is in the same boat. The support base grows whereby the strong desire to complete treatment and get home also holds a small part of apprehension at the thought of leaving new friends. The total appreciation just gives me a big buzz.