Mildura Weekly : Friday June 26 2015 Vol 9 No 33
10 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2015 MILDURA’S Deakin Big 4 Holiday Park will be home to The Big Red Kidney Bus for the next six weeks thanks to an initiative of Kidney Health Australia and Monash Health. A mobile dialysis unit, the bus is the brainchild of former patient Vince Tri- podi (who died in 2012), and aims to give those with kidney failure the chance to travel around Victoria while still receiving life-saving treatment. “Those that suffer kidney failure need to have treat- ment – either in hospital orathome–foruptofive hours at a time, three days a week to stay alive,” The Big Red Kidney Bus co-ordinator, Lesley Ross, explained. “Often it can be very dif- ficult to book a holiday dial- ysis chair when visiting new places, as most dialysis units are full and have no vacant chairs. “The whole idea is to pro- vide a travelling service. Pa- tients book in with the bus, and then together we plan where the bus is going to be, and for how long. “What it does is gives people their lives back, and allows them to see other parts of Victoria without having to worry about how they are go- ing to receive treatment. “The environment is very relaxed, and in a lot of ways I think it makes it easier to un- dergo the hours of treatment required.” The bus is staffed by Monash Health renal nurs- es and technicians, while welcoming kidney patients from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, ACT and Victoria. All of the equipment is either donated or purchased using funds raised by Kid- ney Health Australia, with around 18 patients booking in to have dialysis on the bus while it is stationed in Mil- dura. Each patient has made their own travel and accom- modation arrangements to include a holiday, with many bringing family members or spouses along for the trip. Among the group is South Australian native Ian Weinert, 73 – a regular visi- tor to the region. “I was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2011, and prior to that I used to spend a lot of time in Mildura fish- ing and holidaying,” he said. “My wife and I have a perma- nent caravan in Wentworth, and I have always enjoyed coming up this way. “After my diagnosis it be- came really hard to travel be- cause of the treatments I was required to have. “This initiative has changed all of that. It’s a fan- tastic idea, and something more dialysis patients should investigate. “The more people know about this service the better. We need to get the word out there.” Ian said being able to travel and holiday in the region had given him a new lease on life, saying he couldn’t fault the bus or its staff. “You’re sitting in these chairs for quite a while, and it’s nice to have a bit of differ- ent view than a clinic wall,” he said. “The staff are fantastic, and I certainly plan to take advantage of the service as often as I can.” The Big Red Kidney Bus will remain in the region until August, with Kidney Health Australia planning a number of school visits to help spread kidney health awareness. More information about the Big Red Kidney Bus, in- cluding how to utilise the service, is available by visit- ing www.kidney.org.au. Big Red Kidney Bus offers a holiday opportunity • MAKING A DIFFERENCE: The Big Red Kidney Bus with co-ordinator Lesley Ross, and INSET, dialysis patient Ian Weinert taking advantage of the bus’ state-of-the-art mobile facilities. The Big Red Kidney Bus will remain in the region Laser Plumbing Mildura VIC & NSW LIC. NO. 32486 1300 55 82 73 Suite 2/138 Eighth St, Mildura firstname.lastname@example.org laserplumbing.com.au Quality Australian Steel ✔ Long Life Performance ✔ Low Maintenance ✔ Wide Variety of Colour ✔ Totally Dependable ✔ The Roofing Specialists Beat the end of financial year price rise!
Friday June 19 2015 Vol 9 No 32
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