Varian announced it has entered a partnership with Sony Foundation Australia to support its You Can Stay Program. The You Can Stay program provides free accommodations for cancer patients aged between 15 to 25 and their families in Australia who have to travel to major cities for life-saving, cancer treatment that is not available closer to home.
Sophie Ryan, CEO of Sony Foundation Australia said: "Youth cancer patients in rural areas will most likely need to travel to cities for treatment. This can pose many issues including additional financial burdens from out-of-pocket expenses, unmanageable travel times, and emotional distress if there is a need to be apart from loved ones whilst undergoing treatment. As such, we are excited that Varian has come on-board as a Gold Partner to fund 250 nights of home away from home accommodations to support youth cancer patients and their families in Australia."
The You Can Stay initiative was launched at the end of October 2020 in response to the disproportionate burden youth cancer patients face in rural areas. Ms. Ryan continued: "Adolescents are commonly diagnosed with rare and complex cancers such as bone, blood, and brain cancer requiring specialist treatment in major city hospitals. For example, a patient may need radiation therapy on a daily basis spanning several weeks or longer. This puts immense stress on the daily lives of all members of family. Parents often give up their jobs to stay with their child in the city during treatment and may have to relocate to the city for months at a time to complete treatment. Therefore, programs such Sony Foundation's You Can Stay provide a lifeline for patients and their families."
Rebecca Cortiula, Senior Managing Director Australasia, Varian Medical Systems said: "We are delighted to be able to support the Sony Foundation's You Can Stay initiative. Access to treatment is a real struggle in Australia where roughly one-third of young people affected by cancer live in rural areas. Currently, there are limited options for free or subsidized accommodations for patients and their families to stay. This is an important program to help alleviate additional anxieties so patients and their families can focus on what matters. This is a step forward towards our vision of living in a world without fear of cancer."
For more information about Sony Foundation’s You Can Stay program or to make a referral, please visit www.sonyfoundation.org.au/youcanstay