Trips costly but things are changing

THE costs of a trip to Melbourne soon add up for the Raine family.

There’s petrol of course, for anything between one trip a month to two trips a week.

And accommodation — a night here, two nights there, sometimes several weeks at a time.

Then there’s the cost of a carer for son Danny, the time off work, the medical bills and, perhaps the hardest cost to bear, the emotional toll of regularly hav- ing to leave half your family behind in Wodonga.

But that’s just the way it is for Robyn, her husband Tony and their three children Danny, Brandon and Luke.

Danny, 26, has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia, and his medical needs require trips to Melbourne that have been part of their lives since he was born.

“The distance is further than you think,” Mrs Raine said.

“I don’t mind going because I know Danny’s going to get good care, but the toll it plays on you financially, emotionally...”

The Raine family would be familiar to many Border Mail readers; they’ve shared their story a number of times over the years, always willing to let others in a similar situation know they’re not alone.

Now Danny is older, his trips are more often for one-day appointments, rather than overnight stays, at the complex care centre.

The Victorian government reimbursement and Danny’s support payments help but they don’t cover all costs.

Mrs Raine said among the services lacking locally are those for orthopedics, gastroenterology and neurology, and chronic illnesses like blood disorders, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes.

But she’s confident things will continue to improve and that the Border could be a “one-stop shop” for the region’s health needs.

“The community has a strong voice now and it’s nice to see people believe in where they live,” she said.

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