GOLDEN BOOST FOR HEALTH LINK BUS
IN just over a month, the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus will go even further than it ever dreamed, with a new bus bringing cancer patients from across rural North Kerry to Limerick for treatment.
It’s a day supporters never thought they would see but eight years after it all began the service is expanding to cater for the whole county.
What started off as a simple idea has changed the lives of thousands of cancer patients across Kerry.
Last Thursday the success of the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus was celebrated when it was announced as the overall winner of this year’s Kerry Community Awards.
This was an honour that was richly deserved because this vital cancer support service has made a huge difference to the lives of cancer patients in Kerry.
The Kerry Cancer Support Group was set up in 2007 and three years later the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus was formed to bring Kerry patients to Cork for cancer treatment and the service has been such a success that it has now to be expanded to North Kerry.
The service is vital for patients and has been a constant support for the thousands who have used it over the years, not only helping them travel for hospital appointments but also providing support for cancer patients through friendships formed on board.
The idea for the bus service came from a group of local business men and student nurses and eight years later its effects are immeasurable.
For those behind the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus, to be selected as the overall winner of the Kerry Community Awards is a huge boost but it’s just reward for the hard work behind the scenes.
“We are absolutely delighted. We never expected it given the high calibre of groups that were short-listed. We didn’t think it would be us but it means so much,” says Manager, Breda Dyland.
“This award will give a boost to our new plans with the new service for North Kerry starting in June.”
The cost of running both bus services yearly will be almost €250,000, all of which is raised through fundraising and winning the Kerry Community Awards will not only boost their money pot but also promote awareness of the work they do.
Most importantly it is a thank you to a wonderful group of volunteers who have changed the lives of cancer patients in Kerry.
“Considering the huge work behind the scenes in making this service a reality and the discretion that service users are afforded, the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus is an impressive model and one that hugely impressed the judges,” The Kerryman Editor and Kerry Community Awards Judge Kevin Hughes said.
“It is shocking that such a wonderful service receives no State funding and is entirely reliant on fundraising but the Kerry public holds the service dear to its heart and that’s why it continues to flourish. Huge congratulations to all involved.”
Bill Morrell presenting Overall Winners Kerry Cancer Support Trust CLG - Kerry Cork Health Link Bus Award to Rachel Harnett, Trish Kelly, Breda Dyland, Emma Dyland, Jason Dyland, Dan Horan, Eamon McAuliffe, John Kelly, Paudie Collins with Kevin Hughes...