Ron Lewis, John Leary and James Shugg (back) check out the Kidney Support Network’s new patient transport van.
Ron Lewis, John Leary and James Shugg (back) check out the Kidney Support Network’s new patient transport van. Crystal Spencer

New transporter to help save lives

THIRTY-six more patients will be transported to life-saving dialysis treatments every week thanks to the Kidney Support Network’s new van.

The new patient transport van was bought by a $35,000 donation from the Twin Towns Foundation.

Kidney Support Network executive officer John Leary said they are thankful for the foundation for their generous contribution.

“We run a number of patient vans on the Gold Coast and this will be our sixth,” he said.

“It will be specifically for the southern end of the Gold coast and into northern New South Wales.

“We’re planning on growing further south.”

The Gold Coast Kidney Support Network is based in Ashmore but covers all the way to Tweed.

“We offer a very cheap service,” Mr Leary said.

“We charge about a fraction of a taxi fee.”

Mr Leary said all their drivers are volunteers and they have about 50 just on the Gold Coast.

“We operate from 5.30am to 9.30pm six days a week.

“We transport more than 25,000 patients a year.

“More than 95 per cent of patients have to travel three times a week for dialysis.”

Although the Kidney Support Network offers wheelchair services, this new van is for non-wheelchair patients.

Twin Towns Foundation secretary Ron Lewis said they were glad to be able to help out such a worthy organisation.

“We want to support the local places that are battling,” he explained.

“This year we ran a community challenge program and asked people to nominate their charities.

“We gave out $180,000 through that with the largest amount of $35,000 going to the Kidney Support Network.”

The foundation, which operates from an office in Twin Towns Services Club, is independent of the club.

DJ Stringer Property Services provides sponsorship for the van’s petrol.

The issue is close to heart for the company’s residential sales manager, James Shugg, whose son 10-year-old son Nicholas suffers a kidney disease.



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