More sup­port added

Yar­mouth and Area Cham­ber of Com­merce be­hind move­ment to lo­cate ser­vices at Yar­mouth Re­gional Hos­pi­tal

Tri-County Vanguard - - FRONT PAGE - TINA COMEAU THEVANGUARD.CA

The push to have ra­di­a­tion ser­vices lo­cated at the Yar­mouth Re­gional Hos­pi­tal has gained more sup­port.

The Yar­mouth and Area Cham­ber of Com­merce has added its voice and sup­port to a move­ment to have a can­cer ra­di­a­tion unit es­tab­lished at the Yar­mouth Re­gional Hos­pi­tal.

Months ago a grass­roots move­ment was started on Face­book. The Western Nova Scotia Can­cer Sup­port Net­work is push­ing for can­cer ra­di­a­tion ser­vices to be lo­cated at the Yar­mouth hos­pi­tal to serve peo­ple in western Nova Scotia. The so­cial me­dia net­work also wants to see the prov­ince cover can­cer med­i­ca­tions that are taken orally, the same way chemo­ther­apy treat­ment is cov­ered.

The Yar­mouth Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion has also been work­ing be­hind the scenes for years to see if ra­di­a­tion ser­vices can be lo­cated here.

Yar­mouth and Area Cham­ber of Com­merce ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Matthew Trask says the cham­ber feels this is an im­por­tant cause to sup­port.

“The Yar­mouth & Area Cham­ber of Com­merce, along with the Bar­ring­ton Cham­ber of Com­merce and the Wey­mouth Board of Trade have pub­licly sup­ported this ini­tia­tive,” Trask says.

He says the Yar­mouth cham­ber con­tin­ues to use the strength- in- num­bers ap­proach to get more busi­nesses and re­gions on­side.

The cham­ber is help­ing to cir­cu­late pe­ti­tions pre­pared by the Face­book can­cer sup­port net­work (started by Yar­mouth res­i­dent Derek Lesser) that the cham­ber’s mem­bers can dis­play at their places of busi­ness. The pe­ti­tions are to be pre­sented to the provin­cial gov­ern­ment by the sup­port net­work.

The Yar­mouth cham­ber has close to 300 mem­bers. A let­ter, with the pe­ti­tion, went out to all of them last Fri­day.

Should a busi­ness choose not to dis­play the pe­ti­tion, Trask says that shouldn’t be seen as a case that the busi­ness doesn’t sup­port the ini­tia­tive, as they may be of­fer­ing their sup­port in other ways.

Trask has also writ­ten a let­ter of sup­port on the cham­ber’s be­half that he’s sent to the Yar­mouth MLA and the prov­ince’s health min­is­ter. The Yar­mouth cham­ber has also sent cor­re­spon­dence to other cham­bers in western Nova Scotia – stretch­ing around from Bridge­wa­ter/ Lunen­burg to Kentville.

“I’ve asked them to speak with their boards and ask them for their sup­port be­cause it doesn’t just af­fect the peo­ple in Yar­mouth,” says Trask, who is also in­volved with the hos­pi­tal foun­da­tion. Trask says there are very few peo­ple who haven’t been touched by can­cer, either di­rectly or in­di­rectly.

“I’m sure ev­ery­body has a fam­ily mem­ber or a friend that’s been af­fected by this. It’s un­for­tu­nate that we have some peo­ple in this prov­ince that have to drive three or more hours for ra­di­a­tion. When you’re un­der­go­ing some­thing like that, it’s not a time when you need the added stress and worry of trav­el­ling that dis­tance.”

There are eight lin­ear ac­cel­er­a­tors – the ma­chines that pro­vide ra­di­a­tion treat­ment – in the prov­ince. Six are lo­cated in Hal­i­fax and two are in Syd­ney.

“If Yar­mouth is con­sid­ered a re­gional centre, then it’s a log­i­cal spot for this ser­vice,” Trask says.

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