Help with the tyranny of distance for Balranald cancer patients who rely on their cars

Media release, 25 November 2019: The Cancer Assistance Network local branch has received funding from to help pay for cancer patients’ green slip insurance. Cancer patients in need, and who rely on their cars to get to treatment, are encouraged to reach out for financial assistance from Can Assist Balranald.

Balranald funding from

A cancer diagnosis in rural or remote NSW can bring the additional burden of travelling long distances to treatment. Can Assist Balranald has received a funding injection to help ease that burden through a new partnership with The comparative CTP insurance service knows the cost of green slips and recognises the importance of keeping local cancer patients’ cars on the road when they need them most.

“If a cancer patient doesn’t have a car they’re stuck. There is no other way to get to treatment because community transport is limited. We have the tyranny of distance so a car is vital and the support of is incredibly practical. Most people are fiercely independent because they feel no control over the cancer, so maintaining their mobility and car is something that gives them a sense of control,” said Can Assist Balranald President Connie Rasmussen.

“I’ve seen the impact a cancer diagnosis can have. We can’t take that burden away but Can Assist can help pay a few bills such as a green slip,” said Rasmussen.

Can Assist provides practical and financial support in the form of accommodation, travel, fuel vouchers and utilities payments, to name a few. Patients of all ages have sought support from Can Assist Balranald since it was founded in 2007. They are keen to help more patients in need, especially with the payment of their CTP green slip insurance.

“The car is not only about getting from A to B for medical treatments, it is also essential for maintaining some normality through social interactions. When you live in the country you are very dependent on your four wheels. You would be isolated without them and it’s important to maintain as much independence as possible.” said Can Assist Balranald Founder and Secretary Tina Powis.

Can Assist Balranald

Can Assist Balranald supports a large area from Moulamein and Tooleybuc in the south, to Euston out west. There are four locations for cancer treatment all requiring significant travel. Chemotherapy in Mildura or Swan Hill is a one to two-hour drive, Bendigo is over three hours away and some patients must travel further afield to Melbourne, which is six hours. It all depends on the patient and the treatment, but it always involves a car to get them there and back.

“It is not only the cancer patient impacted. With a cancer diagnosis, two incomes can suddenly become one yet the mortgage, rates, car and costs of living all go on. Your finances get a walloping and if you have kids it is even harder. Can Assist take some of the financial burden off the family so the family can focus on their health priorities,” said Powis.

Can Assist is a community-based volunteer network, funded entirely by local donations and corporate sponsorship, with all money raised locally staying local. The Balranald branch of Can Assist invites cancer patients to come forward and seek their support. It is as simple as calling 0474 928 919. All enquiries and ongoing support are strictly confidential.

For more information on how to support Can Assist, visit

Media contacts

Sophie Bartho, Mobile 0411 191 141
Interviews and photo opportunities are available with recipients Robert Griffiths and Ian Coleman, PsychOncology Social Worker Anna Cobb and Can Assist Orange Branch President.

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

  • Can Assist provides practical and financial 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.
  • Can Assist is a grass roots, community-based volunteer network. It is local volunteers supporting local families affected by cancer.
  • All the money raised locally stays local.
  • Cancer is expensive, and people in rural and remote communities can suffer reduced income and increased expenses because of a cancer diagnosis. Their position is often exacerbated because treatment may require relocation from home and family support.
  • is a new partner of Can Assist. is a price comparison and information service for CTP green slip insurance. It does not sell CTP green slip insurance.
  • has supported Can Assist branches in Orange, Finley, Dubbo, Armidale, Bega, Balranald, Narrabri and Yass with commitments to give further support across NSW.

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