Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Miss Universe WA finalists, a trip to the hospital is a little more enjoyable for young Leukaemia patients.
A six-hour car trip wouldn’t rate highly on anyone’s to-do list. Least of all for little Ruby and her family, who must endure this journey on a monthly-basis.
A week before her fourth birthday, Ruby was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) – the most common form of cancer found in children. She was required to start immediate monthly treatments at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), a distressing ordeal in itself, and made all the more difficult given the six-hour round trip to PMH from her family home in the regional WA town of Manjimup. This is where the Leukaemia Foundation’s patient transport vehicles came in.
Across regional and metropolitan Australia, the Leukaemia Foundation has 28 patient transport vehicles, which last year drove over 850,000 kilometres to deliver patients to their treatment centres safely and free-of-charge.
Chelsea Hardy from the Leukaemia Foundation explained that offering transport services for patients – particularly young ones like Ruby – can increase their quality of life.
“Not being forced to move to a different city allows patients the freedom of going home to their families which seems to lift their spirits,” she said.
“Children are often tired and nauseas after treatment and the thought of going home to their parents and siblings, rather than to an unfamiliar environment, makes it that little bit easier,” she added.
And thanks to the fundraising efforts of Miss Universe WA finalists, ToyBox was recently able to deck out the Leukaemia Foundation’s South-West transport vehicle with a portable DVD player, twin screens, a huge collection of children’s DVDs, as well as hundreds of colouring-in books and pencils, to make the journey for these young patients that little bit easier.
“Constant travelling can put enormous strain on patients and their families when they are going through treatment, and children like Ruby have often been through painful experiences, so a long car ride can seem to go on forever” Chelsea explained.
“By having entertainment activities, the children are able to relax and get their mind off what’s ahead. They also get to enjoy some of things they might feel they are missing out on, and it gives them something to look forward to after a tough day,” she said.
Ruby’s mum Benita agrees that the entertainment in the back seat has had a positive effect on Ruby.
“The DVD screens help to pass the time whilst travelling, and Ruby says that she likes to pick a movie and slack in the back,” she said.
You can help improve the lives of children like Ruby by subscribing to Box Magazine today. Visit boxmagazine.com.au or call us on 1300 BOXMAG.