In January of 2011, Vince Tripodi, a resident of the Latrobe Valley, shared an idea with his family and those with whom he shared dialysis. His vision was a Mobile Kidney Dialysis unit that could give dialysis patients opportunities for treatment in an environment beyond their local hospital and improve their overall health and well-being.
Three years later and the Big Red Kidney Bus has hit the road. A world first the bus creates the opportunity for families with someone on dialysis and individuals to have possibly their first ever holiday. The first holiday will be at Lakes Entrance in Gippsland in July 2014 in accordance with Vince’s wishes. Vince, like all dialysis patients, was restricted to a regimented routine of dialysis treatment. He felt that at times this restriction meant that his opportunities for a change of scenery were compromised due to limited dialysis places state-wide.
Vince gathered a team, a small group of highly dedicated dialysis patients and carers and formed the Mobile Kidney Dialysis (MKD) group. Suzi Picken, Bruce Bremner, Peter Maxwell, Margaret Blanck and Frances Tripodi believed that the idea had the potential to create a change. Sadly three members of the Mobile Kidney Dialysis group will not see the bus on the road. Vince Tripodi passed away in 2012 and Bruce Bremner and Suzie Picken passed away in 2013.
The MKD group continues their dream and celebrated the launch of the bus in the Latrobe Valley on 22nd March 2014. The first BRKB holiday starts at Lakes Entrance on27 October 2014.
The BRKB is a project of Kidney Health Australia in conjunction with Monash Health the provider and manager of clinical and medical services and Latrobe Valley Bus Lines the provider of bus drivers, servicing and maintenance.
The Bus Industry Australia wide, many businesses, foundations and especially the Latrobe Valley community continue to be supporters of the Big-Red-Kidney Bus.