Can Assist Launch comes on board to help cancer patients living in rural NSW

Media Release, 18 June 2019: Can Assist, the Cancer Patients’ Assistance Society of NSW, has announced a partnership with will help pay for CTP green slip insurance for rural and remote cancer patients in need and who rely on their cars to get to treatment. will initially provide funding to Can Assist branches in Orange and Finley, with commitments to give further support across NSW.

Can Assist is a community based volunteer network that provides financial and practical support to people affected by cancer and living in country NSW.

Established in 1955, Can Assist is funded entirely by local donations and corporate sponsorships.  In 2018 it assisted 7,300 rural and regional cancer patients through 55 branches across NSW, where all the money raised locally stays local.

As more cancer patients request support from Can Assist, donations from businesses such as are a welcome support for local branches. 

How it started

Stephen Treacey, founder and owner of, said, “It started with a phone call from the Secretary of the Orange branch. Her call resonated with me. She was trying to help a cancer patient who needed a green slip so that he could get to treatment. The impact of something as simple as a green slip on someone’s wellbeing and access to care really struck me. She was one local person helping another local person. She knew what was needed and she was there to help.

“I am originally from western NSW and I still have strong ties to the country. I know how people living in the country are affected by a health crisis. And I have seen the upheaval and disruption caused to people when they are forced to leave town for medical treatment. It’s great to be able to help at a grassroots level through Can Assist branches. I like the fact that, unlike other charities, money raised locally by a branch stays local. Our contribution goes directly to the branch to assist cancer patients supported by that branch,” said Treacey.

Practical difference

Can Assist CEO, Emma Phillips, welcomed the partnership and thanked for the practical difference it will make to country cancer patients who face the additional burden of travel due to the lack of diagnostic and treatment services in their local towns.

“Most cancer patients in rural and remote NSW travel long distances for care, many spending long periods away from home and work. A cancer diagnosis is extremely difficult and if just one burden can be lifted in the form of financial assistance from, this is an incredible help. This partnership will help patients keep their car on the road and most importantly help them get to life-saving treatments. Delightfully, whilst this is an injection of funds from outside the local community,  true to the Can Assist philosophy, the help will be delivered in a timely fashion, directly through our local branches, without bureaucracy,” said Phillips.                   

For more information on how to support Can Assist visit

Media contact:

Sophie Bartho,            Mobile: 0411 191 141

About Can Assist

Can Assist is committed to ensuring that all people, regardless of where they live in NSW, have access to cancer treatment and care. By providing accommodation, financial assistance and practical support to people from rural and regional areas, it ensures country people are given the same opportunities and treatment choices as those who live in city centres.

Can Assist facts

  • Cancer is expensive, and people in rural and remote communities can suffer reduced income and increased expenses as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Their position is often exacerbated because treatment may require relocation from home and family support
  • People living in remote areas of Australia are often disadvantaged in relation to access to primary health care services
  • Can Assist is a grass roots, community-based volunteer network. It is local volunteers supporting local families affected by cancer
  • All money raised locally stays local

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