The Leukaemia Foundation is calling for more volunteer drivers to help transport sick patients across south-west Sydney.
Campbelltown’s Sisi Torok, 49, is well aware of the difference drivers make to patients’ lives.
Ms Torok was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia in 2014 and has been fighting it ever since.
“The foundation and its drivers have helped me a lot. Chris is my main driver and he helps me out of the kindness of his heart. He goes above and beyond by helping me walk. He’s just wonderful,” Ms Torok said.
“The other driver Barry is also lovely – he’ll give me gifts from time to time. It’s really sweet. Even though they’re just driving us, they’re like my family now.”
She said her life completely changed when she was diagnosed.
“Sometimes I need to go to Liverpool Hospital five times a week. I’m going through three different lots of chemotherapy and plasma now – I’m just waiting for my hair to fall out,” she said.
“They’re trying everything but unfortunately they still don’t know what the main cause of my leukaemia is.
“I’ve come pretty close to death three times. It’s pretty tough but you do what you have to. I’ve got a close family and I’m lucky I’ve had their support. What the drivers do is amazing – I love them to bits and they know it.”
Chris Bath, of Macquarie Links, is one of the drivers who helps transport patients in the region.
He said he wanted to make good use of his time once he retired.
“I’ve been doing this every week for four years and I don’t have any plans to give it up,” he said.
Even though they’re just driving us, they’re like my family nowSisi Torok, leukaemia patient
“I enjoy it and I like to help people who are less fortunate than I am. When I began doing this, I realised there were a lot of people out there who are far less fortunate.
“You learn what patients go through, you learn about cancer and treatments. It’s horrible. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I picked up someone from Harrington Parknot so long ago and he was only 20. It’s sad to see someone so young affected.
“I used to drive a Cambodian couple to hospital. The last time I picked them up, his doctor gave him the news he was in remission and they were so happy. It’s so worthwhile.”
- Volunteer drivers are provided with a car. Details: 1800 620 420.