IN what will be a major boost for the vital service, the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus is set to receive €90,000 in funding from Tralee's Bon Secours Hospital over the next three years.
The hospital recently selected the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus as the beneficiary of its Community Fund for the next three years.
Last week Bon Secours Manager, Donna Roche, presented a cheque for €30,000, representing the first of three annual contributions, to Sean Prendergast and representatives of the Kerry Cancer Support Group who run the daily shuttle bus service which brings Kerry cancer patients to and from Cork for potentially life-saving treatments.
The bus takes patients from one of the pick-up points en route to Cork and brings them to the hospital for treatment. It waits while all patients are treated and then brings them back to where they were picked up.
Last year alone the Health Link Bus provided free transport for cancer patients from Kerry to attend 3,600 appointments for radiotherapy at Cork University Hospital.
The Bon Secours funding will be used primarily to keep the service running on a day to day basis while some of the funds will go towards the planned purchase of a new bus.
"The Health Link Bus fulfils one of the main aims of the Bon Secours Health System which is to provide good help to those in need. In recognising the wonderful work, most of it on a voluntary basis, carried out by the Kerry Cancer Support Group, it is a pleasure to select the organisation as our new Community Fund recipient. We hope that our input to providing a new bus next year will help to make a huge difference to those affected with Cancer," said Donna Roche.
Manager of Kerry Cancer Support Group, Seán Prendergast said the donation has given the group a renewed sense of confidence.
"We are very happy that the Bon Secours Hospital Tralee recognises the value of our patient orientated service by providing sponsorship for the next three years. This funding will give us the confidence to carry on providing our service to Kerry cancer patients."