Chronic illness can be tough for any family, and many in Griffith face the added difficulty of huge distances to reach specialists.
The added-distance is something Salvatore and Florinda Cerrito and their family have been dealing with on-and-off for the last four years.
Their daughter Maria lives in Wagga. She said frequent trips to specialists and doctors in Albury mean she’d have to take three or four days off work.
Often it means Ms Vecchio or her brother will have to take a few days off work to make the trip.
“Because of the distance and how far we are I think we’re at a bit of a disadvantage. People from Griffith still have to go to Wagga and Albury,” she said.
“My worry is that I have to arrange so much time we get off work. Sometimes we do that, but we can’t do that every time. I don’t think there has ever been one time they can’t do it.”
In recent years, they’ve been able to utilise Cancer Council’s transport to treatment service, free transport taking people from the Riverina to appointments in the larger regional centres.
“It just helps because instead of taking three or four days off to get them to Albury we can take the one day off and they meet me over there,” she said.
Cancer Council NSW’s Mel Nixon said their transport to treatment service has tracked over 130,000 kilometres in the last 18 months.
The service allows cancer clients and their carers to self-refer to the service, rather than seeking a referral from a medical professional.
“We want everyone to know that earlier diagnosis equates to greater success in survival and qualities of life,” Mrs Nixon said.
“T2T also offer free transport for people looking to attend breast screening, bowel screening, skin cancer and lymphoedema services, and other cancer awareness opportunities such as attending cancer support groups and courses”.
To make a booking or find out more, please call (02) 6937 2600.