Children and young people with cancer and their families need to travel to hospital for specialist treatment. The last thing they should be worrying about is whether they can afford to get there.
Many young cancer patients have to travel long distances several times a week for their specialist treatment and sometimes this can last for years. This is physically and emotionally demanding and comes at a huge financial cost.
Many are going into debt, struggling to pay their bills, and some are missing or delaying treatment because of the cost of getting to hospital. It’s leaving them #RunningOnEmpty. We believe all they should be focused on is getting through treatment, not the cost of getting there.
That’s why we’re calling for better financial support, through a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund, and by expanding the Scottish Young Patient Family Fund.
“Sometimes I wouldn’t be able to eat because I would have to budget for my ferries”
Vic was diagnosed with cancer at just 21 years old. Cancer treatment is one of the most unimaginable things for a young person to go through. But instead of focusing on her health, Vic was worrying how she would afford the ferry ticket to get to hospital, on top of food, rent and bills.
“I had my flat I was paying for, and this was just as everything was inflating price wise– it was a lot of stress to deal with the travel costs on top of trying to maintain a home”
At peak times, a ferry is £200 return, on top of the taxi fares or petrol and parking either end. That’s over £200 often several times a week just to get to cancer treatment.
Things got so bad that she even considered giving up treatment.
“I messaged my social worker, Kate, and I said ‘I can’t do my treatment with this cost”
Kate helped Vic out with grants to cover some of the costs and spoke to the ferry company to help with free tickets. Vic said had it not been for Kate, she would have stopped treatment halfway through. However, our grants can only do so much.
Vic is not alone. Young people with cancer and their families are paying £250 a month just on that travel, for things like petrol, train tickets and taxi fares. All to get to hospital for cancer treatment.
Young people like Vic are #RunningOnEmpty due to the cost of travelling for vital treatment. Young cancer patients need to travel to hospital for specialist treatment. The last thing they should be worrying about is whether they can afford to get there.
The petition is handed in, but the campaign doesn’t stop here. We need the UK government to respond to us on whether they are going to take action.
Across the UK, Young Lives vs Cancer is still campaigning to make sure all children and young people with cancer get the vital support they need for the cost of travelling to hospital. We’re continuing to meet with elected representatives in Scottish Parliament (about expanding the Young Patients Family Fund), the Welsh Senedd and Northern Ireland’s Legislative Assembly to make this happen.
In the meantime, the petition is still open for you to sign and share to keep the momentum of support going.
By combining our voices we’ve shown how much support there is for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund and expanding Scotland’s Young Patients Family Fund.
Show your support
Help us stop children and young people with cancer and their families from #RunningOnEmpty. Join our call for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund and better financial support for the cost of travelling to treatment. We can’t do it without you! Please sign our petition to show your support today.
If you’re looking for support with the cost of travelling to hospital, check out our webpages for more information on financial support, including Young Lives vs Cancer grants, and help with travel costs.