Life­Cy­cle helps fam­i­lies, saves pa­tients’ jobs, with twi­light shift van

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Life­Cy­cle (Malta) Foun­da­tion has spon­sored the an­nual use and main­te­nance of a van that re­nal pa­tients utilise as a means of trans­port in the evenings, for their dial­y­sis ses­sions at Mater Dei’s Re­nal Unit. The van pro­vides trans­port for per­sons trav­el­ing to and from the Re­nal Unit for their haemodial­y­sis treat­ment on the Re­nal Unit’s ma­chines.

For the past 19 years, Life­Cy­cle has been rais­ing money for life sav­ing equip­ment in or­der to help per­sons suf­fer­ing from re­nal fail­ure while ad­vanc­ing the aware­ness about or­gan trans­plants in Malta,

This year, the Life­Cy­cle (Malta) Foun­da­tion will be cel­e­brat­ing its 20th an­niver­sary since it was first set up by its founder, Alan Curry. For the sec­ond year run­ning, Fos­ter Clark’s has agreed to be the ti­tle spon­sor of the chal­lenge which will be tak­ing par­tic­i­pants to Dubai and then cy­cling 2,000 km to Salalah in South­ern Oman.

In Malta, there are around 200 pa­tients, at any one time, re­quir­ing haemodi­al­sy­sis at the Re­nal Unit, while another 80 carry out the treat­ment at home on ma­chines, many of which were pro­vided by Life­Cy­cle. Dial­y­sis is the process by which a com­plete blood cleans­ing is car­ried out as the pa­tient has to sit in an ac­com­pa­ny­ing couch while the ma­chine does the work of the failed kid­neys, nor­mally hap­pen three times a week, with each ses­sion tak­ing about four hours.

With the early evening shift, called the twi­light dial­y­sis shift, of­fered by the Re­nal Unit, pa­tients do not dis­rupt their daily work sched­ule. Fur­ther­more, the twi­light shift trans­port ser­vice cur­tails dis­rup­tion for the pa­tients’ fam­i­lies, as oth­er­wise fam­ily mem­bers will have to do an av­er­age of six evening trips per week.

“Pre­vi­ously, fam­ily mem­bers very of­ten had to step in to pro­vide lifts, and this ob­vi­ously cre­ated a lot of dis­rup­tion to all con­cerned,” said Life­Cy­cle Foun­da­tion chair­per­son Dr Shirley Ce­fai. “The twi­light trans­port ser­vice al­lows the dial­y­sis ses­sions to be spread over a longer pe­riod of the day, and so a twi­light shift was able to be es­tab­lished dur­ing the evening. The ben­e­fits of the van in pro­vid­ing this ser­vice have taken a huge bur­den from both the pa­tients, the pa­tients’ fam­i­lies and, of course, the ded­i­cated staff of the Re­nal Unit.

Fos­ter Clark’s Life­Cy­cle Chal­lenge founder Alan Curry said: “With the Re­nal Unit’s twi­light shift and the van ser­vice, sup­ported by an­nual €7,000 do­na­tion from Life­Cy­cle funds, re­nal pa­tients have over­come another ma­jor hur­dle: in the past, pa­tients would lose their jobs as em­ploy­ers were not eager to al­low their em­ploy­ees to leave work dur­ing the day on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.”

Pa­tients do ap­pre­ci­ate Life­Cy­cle’s ef­forts. “Only the other week, a re­nal pa­tient walked into our train­ing fa­cil­ity with his fam­ily and per­son­ally do­nated a sum as a thank­ful ges­ture for the use of the twi­light van. He told us that for his 60th birth­day he will be ask­ing for money which he will do­nate to Life­Cy­cle. Such signs of ap­pre­ci­a­tion come to mind while we will be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the hard­ships each Life­Cy­cle Chal­lenge of­fers its par­tic­i­pants,” said Dr Ce­fai.

One can do­nate via sms: 5061 7370 = €2.33; 5061 8920 = €6.99; 5061 9229 = €11.65; or via a call to 5160 2020 = €10, 5170 2005 = €15; and 5180 2006 = €25. Bank de­tails are Swift code VALLMTMT, IBAN num­ber MT 18 VALL 22013000000014814521017, Bank name Bank of Val­letta, Ac­count num­ber 14814521017.

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