Cancer charity Hope for Tomorrow has launched its latest mobile chemotherapy unit – with help from Mercedes-Benz dealer Mudie-Bond and Britain’s best-known motorsport commentator Murray Walker OBE.
Owned and operated by charity Hope for Tomorrow, but staffed by NHS professionals, the new cancer treatment facility is now bringing much-needed medical support to the doorsteps of patients throughout Wiltshire.
The Mobile Chemotherapy Unit is mounted on an 18-tonne Mercedes-Benz Axor 1824 chassis, which was supplied by Tewkesbury dealer Mudie-Bond.
The truck is based at Salisbury District Hospital and tours the county, visiting different locations on set days, saving patients the hardship of travelling long distances and cutting hospital waiting times.
It is the third Mobile Chemotherapy Unit to be introduced by Hope for Tomorrow – two others, also based on 18-tonne Axors, provide the same service to patients in Gloucestershire and Somerset.
Mudie-Bond also provides a comprehensive repair and maintenance service, covering not only the chassis but also their bespoke bodies, which are built by motorhome and motorsport transporter specialist MCL, of Minffordd, Wales.
The latest unit was officially launched by Murray Walker, one of many high-profile figures from the world of motorsport who support the charity. It has been named ‘Kayleigh’ in memory of local woman Kayleigh Louise Weeks, who recently lost her battle against cancer aged just 23.
Each Mobile Chemotherapy Unit costs Hope for Tomorrow £250,000 to build and maintain for three years and can provide up to 3,000 chemotherapy treatments a year. Patients save the time they would otherwise have to spend travelling as well as their fuel costs.
Christine Mills MBE, who founded the Tetbury-based charity, said: "I am delighted that we are launching our first Mobile Chemotherapy Unit in Wiltshire. It has taken lots of planning and fund-raising to get it here and I know the people of Wiltshire will benefit enormously from the services the Unit provides."
Unveiling the new vehicle, Murray Walker said: "I am sure that this new unit is going to make life easier for so many cancer sufferers in Wiltshire. Hope for Tomorrow brought us the world’s first mobile unit. Cancer is bad enough but having to travel miles for treatment when in a concerned state of mind must make things seem infinitely worse. Having a Mobile Chemotherapy Unit close at hand will generate peace of mind and make things so much easier to cope with."