Ron Clarke hopeful Council will continue funding cancer patient service

A FORMER Gold Coast Mayor is hoping the current Council will continue to fund one of his legacies when they hand down the budget today.

Ron Clarke set up the Gold Coast Cancer Patient and Oncology Transport Service in 2009 as a tribute to his community-spirited daughter Monique, who passed away from an aggressive cancer.

The service provides three eight-seater vehicles for cancer patients to be transported from their homes to seven local hospitals for treatment.


Last year they made just on 10,000 trips, covering more than 80,000kms and servicing 864 different patients.

Mr Clarke believes those statistic prove there is a need for the service.

“Anybody who has undergone either radiation and/or chemotherapy in order to overcome cancer knows how debilitating these treatments can be and how sick patients often are immediately after their hospital sessions,” Mr Clarke said.

Patients donate $3 for each journey, while Volunteering Australia’s Gold Coast office maintains the buses, provide expert drivers and trained volunteers to accompany patients to and from their treatments.

It costs around $250,000 annually and the service needs that sum from the community to continue.

Mr Clarke is looking for eight corporate or community ‘angels’ to assist.

“They might be businesses, clubs, individuals or organizations – to donate $25,000 annually for three years,” he explains.

Mr Clarke will address the Rotary Club of Broadwater Southport this Friday morning to call on possible Rotary support.

But, he also hopes, Council will continue its support when the budget is handed down today.