QUEENSLAND is well on the way to getting its own Big Red Kidney Bus, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Robina Lions Club.
The club has raised $267,000 of the $500,000 required to purchase and refurbish a bus for Queensland.
Kidney Health Australia already has Big Red Kidney Buses, which offer mobile dialysis, in New South Wales and Victoria.
Robina Lions Club Member John Clark said his wife's mother had been on home dialysis. When they learnt of Victoria's Big Red Kidney Bus service during a convention in Melbourne five years ago, they decided to fundraise for a bus in Queensland.
"The Big Red Kidney Bus can deliver 36 lifesaving dialysis treatments per week, 45 weeks per year," John said.
The club has been raising funds for the program for the past three years through events such as fashion parades, high teas, trivia nights and raffles as well as grant applications.
The program enables people on dialysis, their families and carers to have holidays, without having to rely on the availability of holiday dialysis chairs at regional units.
Each Big Red Kidney Bus features three comfortable chairs which are fully equipped with dialysis machines, with up to six sessions available each day.
Kidney Health Australia publicises locations its buses will be in advance on its website and patients can book as many times as they need throughout their stay.
The program operates for around 240 days each year, visiting six or seven locations and is free for all Australian and New Zealand residents who require dialysis.
Services in NSW and Victoria are delivered with the help of staff from Royal North Shore Hospital and Monash Health.
Kidney Health Australia chief executive Chris Forbes said the organisation was very grateful for Robina Lions' fundraising efforts.
"This is a fantastic program currently operating in NSW and Victoria, and we'd love to make it a reality in Queensland," Chris said.
"It will expand the horizons for thousands of dialysis patients who cannot leave their local communities because of their dialysis requirements.
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