After having a severe reaction to a treatment for her endometrial cancer, Booragul resident Christine Williams was forced to stay for hours at the hospital receiving further care, making her miss the last bus home and leaving her stranded at the hospital.
It was Cancer Council's Transport to Treatment service which came to her rescue, and the council hopes that new improvements will allow the service to help more cancer sufferers like Ms Williams.
"The doctors put me on a new treatment that I had a really bad reaction to," Ms Williams said. "It felt like I had had a heart attack and I couldn't breathe at all. It was pretty scary really.
"The doctors gave me more medication but then because of all the commotion I wasn't able to leave until hours later. All transport services had finished for the night and it would have cost me an arm and a leg to get a taxi."
"That's when Mariola and the Cancer Council came in like angels from heaven."
Ms Williams was given a lift home by Mariola Brock, a volunteer driver from Transport to Treatment.
The initiative offers free rides to cancer patients who need help getting to and from medical appointments.
On Monday, the service implemented TRIPS, an online booking system for the service.
Jill Mills from Cancer Council NSW said the new system will maximise the efficiency of the service and eventually increase it's reach to regional and rural areas of the state.
"We're trying to fill in the gaps of what is needed in different areas," Ms Mills said. "Someone living in a rural or regional setting might have to travel 100 kilometres, they might not have a car or they might have no one to take them to treatments ... this is what we're trying to fix.
"Being online, everything's in real time, bookings can be done easily on a computer. Eventually patients will be able to make their bookings themselves rather than it being organised by health workers."
Christine Williams said she is delighted that more people will be able to benefit from the service the way she has.
"I'm very pleased for them because I know what a benefit I got from it ... it's no fun having a cancer diagnosis and anything that helps like this is fantastic.
"There's so much going through your mind during cancer treatment and it's nice to be able to have one less thing to think about ... the whole mood of the thing is cheery, it's really nice ... the people that volunteer are there because they genuinely like people and they genuinely want to help you," Ms Williams said.
According to Ms Mills, this is all a part of the service, as drivers are taught how to speak with and comfort cancer sufferers.
The Cancer Council first implemented the service in 2008, after learning that around 90,000 medical trips go unfulfilled each year.
The TRIPS system was created by Newcastle company SOS Technology Group, and it's implementation has been funded by a $154,000 grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.
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