Published: 09:49, 23 May 2020
| Updated: 09:54, 23 May 2020
A mobile cancer care bus is making sure people still get the treatment they need during the pandemic.
The vehicle, named Caron - in memory of Blue Peter presenter Caron Keating who died in 2004 after a battle with breast cancer - visits Dover, Folkestone and Herne Bay weekly, to provide chemotherapy and other treatment.
It is run by charity Hope for Tomorrow in partnership with East Kent Hospitals, and means those most vulnerable to Covid-19 can avoid trips to hospital and stay closer to home.
Diana Waters from Hythe uses the bus every month and is "amazed" by the service.
The 48-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, which has since spread to her bones and elsewhere.
She said: "I had my first chemotherapy treatments in hospital but then they offered me the option of using the bus and now it’s invaluable.
"The bus in itself makes you feel 100% better because it doesn’t feel like going to hospital.
"There is only one person in it at a time at the moment so you really feel protected and looked after; it’s almost like your own personal bubble.
"I can’t fault the staff; the nurses are fabulous and Brian the driver is lovely. If it wasn’t for the fact they are wearing masks, you wouldn’t know anything was different, they are so cheerful and professional."
She added: "I chose to carry on with my treatment during the pandemic, and it makes me feel so much better being able to have it on the bus.
"Like so many others, I have put my faith in the NHS to look after me and they absolutely are.
“The bus saves me a trip to hospital, which is something no one particularly wants to do, especially at the moment. It is five minutes from my front door and I think it’s absolutely amazing.”
The bus was launched in east Kent in 2013 and has provided almost 5,000 treatments since then, saving patients 300,000 miles in journeys to hospital.
Hope for Tomorrow is looking to get a new body and chassis for Caron - and is asking for donations to help with this.
So far, the charity has raised half of its £237,000 target.
If you'd like to help, visit the JustGiving page by clicking here.
More by this authorRebecca Tuffin