Vince's legacy lives on

Kidney patients can soon take a much needed holiday thanks to a new bus fitted with dialysis equipment

Vince's legacy lives on
Vince’s legacy lives on

By Sean Muir | July 5, 2012

Speaking at this year’s BusVic Maintenance and Bus Expo, Kidney Health Australia CEO Anne Wilson says the Big Red Kidney Bus, donated by Grenda, will allow patients to dialyse at holiday destinations.

Pictured with Scott Grenda, left, the late Vince Tripodi founded the Big Red Kidney Bus Project with a team of people on haemodialysis at the Latrobe Regional Hospital Dialysis Unit in Traralgon Victoria.

Wilson says patients on dialysis don’t get to have a holiday.

"You have to stay close to the life support centre that provides you with dialysis three times a week for five hours at a time," she says.

"Who would have thought your wonderful buses and your wonderful industry would provide the means for people on dialysis to have a holiday?"

Wilson says the bus, which is hoped to be operating by the end of the year with renal nurses, three dialysis machines and three dialysis chairs, will be the first of five donated buses on the road.

According to Wilson $25,000 has been donated to fit-out the bus with dialysis equipment and employees from Southern Health, a bus driver, bus servicing, and a depot for parking have also been supplied.

But Wilson says more support is still needed.

"We need support in fitting the bus-out," Wilson says.

"We need in-kind support and we need financial support.

"In years to come, we also hope to have buses on the road that provide early detection services."

Wilson says of the 1.7 million Australians with chronic kidney disease, only about 400,000 have been diagnosed.

"That means there are about 1.3 million Australians walking around with chronic kidney disease and chances are you don’t know it," Wilson says.

"If you have chronic kidney disease – that’s one in nine people in the room – you are 20 times more likely to have a heart attack."

"We strongly advocate that workplaces look at the opportunities to put a workplace screening program in place – it makes a difference to your employees and ultimately increases productivity."

About 10,500 Australians are currently on dialysis.

Dialysis is a form of life support that cleanses and filters the body instead of kidneys.

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