Cancer patients have a problem – one that they should not have in addition to the battle they are already waging within their own body. The fight is transport, what should be a sheer simple issue of getting to hospital to get treatment. The position isn’t helped by the fact that until the southern hospital at El Mojón is opened in … well, whenever it finally opens … cancer patients have to go north for their treatment. Some chemotherapy programmes require them to go daily, over weeks. It is exhausting for patients and their family and friends, and the expense is often beyond their means.
Transport used to be provided by the health service, Sanidad, but it was pulled because of lack of resources. At that point, the Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (AECC) took up the burden, but after a year found that the society, too, could not afford to fulfil the demand. Now, however, the demand cannot be ignored, and with no official funds, transport needs to be available to fill the gap between now and whenever El Mojón’s day oncology unit opens.
Yesterday, the AECC presented the project KM Solidario Tenerife Sur, an attempt to restore transport. The presentation was attended by Juan Julio Fernández, president of the AECC’s Tenerife province board; Dácil de Martín Cuff, KM Solidario Tenerife Sur project leader; comic actress Marta González de Vega; and Carlos Siverio of Biko Events. The project started last November, and in January a new bus was provided by Archiauto, but such is the demand that one bus is not sufficient, and there is a waiting list.
No civilized society should have a waiting list just for transport to get to cancer treatment. AECC is therefore holding an event, Échate una risa, in the Auditorio Infanta Leonor next Thursday, 13 February. It’s one of several events planned in south Tenerife to raise funds for at least one other bus. Next Thursday’s comedy show, poster above, will obviously be in Spanish, and I know that humour in a foreign language is among the hardest things to understand … but if we can’t laugh at cancer, let’s at least try to laugh for cancer transport. The show starts at 8.30 and tickets cost €10 – they can be bought from the auditorium’s café and Papelería Raquel in El Camisón.