Embracing a new world

Borne from weekly talks among Latrobe Valley dialysis patients, the Big Red Kidney Bus now visits holiday destinations across Victoria.

A cause close to the heart of many Latrobe Valley residents through Traralgon founders Vince Tripodi, Bruce Bremner and Suzi Picken, the bus still receives many donations from people in the area. With the aim of servicing patients away from home, the bus, run in partnership with Kidney Health Australia and Monash Health, has now visited Lakes Entrance, Mallacoota, Phillip Island and is currently in Anglesea.

Kidney Health Australia spokeswoman Jo Fairbairn told The Express dialysis patients from across Australia had visited Gippsland destinations for the chance of a holiday away from hospital.

“We’re not calling them patients anymore, we’re calling them holiday makers,” Ms Fairbairn said.

Paynesville residents Ron and Gill Meddings said they were grateful for their recent opportunity to visit Mallacoota.

“Without the Big Red Kidney Bus, going to off-the-beaten-track places like Mallacoota would be utterly impossible for us,” Ms Meddings said.

If you are interested in following the Big Red Kidney Bus’ journey, email bigredkidneybus@kidney.org.au to receive regular updates.