Kerry/Cork Link Bus dance draws the crowds at Scartaglin
After experiencing the trauma of cancer at first hand when his wife Abina contracted the disease and subsequently passed away 16 years ago at the age of 47, Knocknagree native John Joe Herlihy has been to the forefront in organising fundraisers for the Irish Cancer Society over the years.
Last weekend, it was the turn of the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus when John Joe ran a dance at the Heritage Centre in Scartaglin to raise funds for this invaluable amenity which ferries patients to the Cork Hospitals five days a week.
A full house attendance enjoyed the best of music and dancing on Sunday night and John Joe expressed his delight at the large turn out and the amount of money raised.
Kerry Cancer Support Group is a community-based, volunteer-driven, community-supported organisation. The signature service the 'Kerry Cork Health Link Bus' was established in 2010, starting with a 14 seater minibus, but demand for the service quickly increased. A 30 seater bus now travels to Cork University Hospital, The Mercy, The Bons Cork and The Cork Clinic five days a week bringing the service user for treatment free of charge.
In addition, a dedicated time slot for users at the hospital minimises delays. This bus serves Kerry and parts of West Cork and guarantees complete confidentiality. The service is a vital one and has been likened, by users, to a 'travelling support group'. There is also a Bridging Transport Service which provides transport to treatment for service users on a one off basis where no other service meets their needs.
The service does not receive Government or HSE funding. With incidence of cancer set to grow (the National Cancer Registry of Ireland forecast that by 2020 the number is set to rise to over 43,000), Kerry Cancer Support see their services ever more in demand.
Meanwhile, John Joe continues to host the best of music and dancing every Sunday night in Scartaglin and every Wednesday night at Kerins O' Rahilly's.