Over the past year, South Central Cancer Resource (SCCR) has seen its clientele nearly double.
In 2018 SCCR saw 119 new clients, up by 49 in 2017, meaning the organization now aids 302 people struggling with cancer in their service area.
President June Letkeman says their office seems busier all the time, adding they've been working to be more visible in the communities they serve.
"The public is getting more aware of our services at SCCR and we're helping a lot more cancer patients because of that," she says. "People are learning more about SCCR, and what we do, also it brings more fundraisers that support us as well."
With total revenue of $251,456 and expenses totalling $263,232, SCCR had a modest deficit of $11,776 last year.
The increase in expenses was patient self-transport of $97,034, more than doubling from 2017's $38,854.
Program Resource Coordinator, Deb Thiessen, says more people are choosing to drive themselves and SCCR's policy change allows the organization to help more through a client's cancer journey.
"Cancer is not cheap, it costs money, and not everyone has the available cash to put gas in their vehicles to make those 30 trips to Winnipeg for radiation treatment. Not everyone has a large group of friends or family that can take them to Winnipeg for their treatments and appointments. SCCR was established to help people with those needs."
The new assistance also allows SCCR to assist people with accommodations if a client needs to have long-term stays in the hospital. Total costs of transportation and lodging were $164,932, with the number of rides and night's accommodation of 3,317.
A significant change heading into 2019 will be the stepping down of Letkeman who has been on the board for six years.
"It's bittersweet, I've enjoyed term with SCCR. It's a wonderful organization, and we help so many people, so it makes you feel good to be part of an organization like that. I'm sorry to step down, but I think it's time, six years is long enough on any board."
Letkeman adds her term may be over, but nothing is stopping her from coming back sometime in the future.
At the recent AGM meeting, SCCR enacted a by-law, changing their service area. SCCR will provide its services to all the communities and rural areas located within:
Municipality of Louise;
Municipality of Pembina;
RM of Stanley;
City of Morden;
City of Winkler;
Town of Altona;
Town of Carman;
RM of Dufferin;
RM of Morris;
Municipality of Rhineland;
RM of Roland;
RM of Thompson;
Villages of Letellier and Emerson;