Lyn Pauling, 68 yrs., wife of Steve, Mother of 4 adult children, and grandmother to 8. Lyn was born and bred in Leeton.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, skin cancer, near 10,000km of driving, 2 months of hotel accommodation and many more months of treatment was not only emotionally exhausting but financially crippling.
When first diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Lyn was flown to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney for immediate treatment. Sydney became home for Lyn for the next three months. Steve drove back and forth to Sydney (1,100 kms return per trip) multiple times over this period and spent several weeks in various Sydney accommodation facilities.
Upon returning to Leeton, Lyn would need to undergo chemotherapy treatment in Griffith (120km return per trip) where she would continue going twice a week every 8 weeks for the next two years.
But that was not the end of the story, several months ago, Lyn received a second cancer diagnosis -skin cancer this time. Back to Sydney for more surgery; more travel and more accommodation costs.
Next was radiotherapy at the Cancer Centre in Wagga and unlike her public hospital treatments in metropolitan Sydney, she would incur medical out of pockets. The RCCC required an upfront payment every two weeks for radiotherapy treatment – over $1,000 each time. Whilst Medicare provided a rebate, significant gaps remained. Over this period, Lyn stayed at the not-for-profit accommodation facility – Lilier Lodge, which is part-owned and managed by Can Assist. It was here that Lyn first became acquainted with Can Assist.
By now, Lyn was left thousands of dollars out of pocket over the course of her treatments. To make matters worse, given his repeated time off work, her husband had lost his building job and has never actually found full-time work again.
Can Assist Leeton stepped in – they would pay Lyn’s medical out of pockets, her out-of-pocket accommodation costs for the full 5 weeks stay in Wagga Wagga and they would issue her with multiple petrol vouchers. Without this assistance, Lyn would have been forced to drive back and forth daily, some 250 km, sick and exhausted. Lyn talks with fond memories of her time at Lilier – “It’s so much more than a bed; we had volunteers driving us to treatment, providing group dinners, education, exercise classes…. but most of all it was a safe haven; a family of people all going through the same thing. Lilier and Can Assist made it all so much easier, I will be forever grateful “