For the past two years Albion Park resident Patricia McInerney has made the trip to Wollongong for chemotherapy three times a month, and one service has made that journey a little easier.
The 66-year-old is one of many Illawarra cancer patients who rely on Cancer Council NSW's Transport to Treatment, with the volunteer drivers clocking up over 50,000km each year.
For Ms McInerney, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer late in 2017, it's been a massive help.
"In the beginning family members were taking me, but treatment can last for three hours and I didn't want them sitting there waiting all that time," she said.
"The treatment makes you very tired so it's not a good idea to drive yourself, so this service has been absolutely wonderful."
Helping to keep this - and other vital Cancer Council services - on track is a homegrown fundraising event now in its 17th year.
The Great Ocean Pool Crawl has raised more than $275,000 for the cancer charity, and this year organisers aim to hit $300,000.
Illawarra real estate agents Phil Murray and Sam Vescio are urging people to sign up for the event, which was launched on Wednesday and will be held on Sunday, March 1.
They're expecting up to 200 participants, who will meet at Towradgi Park Bowls and Recreation Club before travelling by bus to six pools - Coalcliff, Wombarra, Austinmer, Bulli, Woonona and back to Towradgi.
"The event has always received so much support and we hope in its 17th year to raise a record amount of $25,000 - which will take the overall tally to $300,000," Mr Murray said.
"Cancer Council NSW does an excellent job supporting patients, and sadly there continues to be so many families in need and we're going to keep on helping them."
The family-friendly event is not a race - participants can swim, snorkel or even dog paddle - and many dress up for the occasion, said Cancer Council community relations co-ordinator Kelly Dinnerville.
"Without the funds raised from events like these we wouldn't be able to provide the services we do in the Illawarra," she said.
"As well as our Transport to Treatment - which completed more than 750 trips in the last financial year - we also provide affordable accommodation in the Wollongong Alkira Lodge, so patients and carers can stay close to treatment."
Ms McInerney said it was support services like these that made a big difference to patients.
"I was in shock when I got my diagnosis, as I didn't have a lot of symptoms," she said. "You have your hard times, but recent scans have been good.
"But with family and friends behind me, and the help of the Cancer Council, my oncologist Dr Ali Tafreshi and staff at Wollongong Private Hospital, I'm able to stay positive."
To register or further details visit www.poolcrawl.com.au