The federal government has announced Griffith will be one of 13 locations across Australia to get a radiation therapy service centre, set to change the reality of regional cancer sufferers.
Five weeks away from home for just six to 15 minutes of radiation in Wagga has been the drill for cancer patients in Griffith and the MIA, like Joel Spencer.
"As much as it's an inconvenience, it can save your life at the end of the day so there is no way I wouldn't do it," Mrs Spencer said.
Yet she will be in Wagga for her daughter's 18th birthday today, and her three other children will be without her for the majority of the next four weeks.
Not to mention the time she's had to take off work.
"This centre will be built after I have finished, but it will allow people to continue working, while being with family," Mrs Spencer said.
Can Assist president Olga Forner was "absolutely overwhelmed" to hear the news, saying it's something "desperately needed" in Griffith for years.
"We've been helping patients outside our traditional area, there are so many that need help, I couldn't put a number on it. Having this service will make such a difference," Mrs Forner said.
With regional cancer patients 35 per cent more likely to die within five years of diagnosis than their city counterparts, Health Minister Greg Hunt said a key barrier to radiation therapy is not cost or effectiveness, but rather a lack of access.
Farrer Member Sussan Ley said this funding commitment from the Government will deliver localised, high quality, comprehensive radiation and oncology.
"When I first became Griffith's federal member the need for local treatment was raised as a big priority," she said.
The announcement comes after Radiation Therapy Advisory Group's (RTAG) campaign was successful in getting $63 million boost for radiation therapy across Australia.
While promised in the budget, it is yet to be determined when these centres will be up and running.
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