PICKENS COUNTY — The American Cancer Society is searching for more drivers and volunteers to help with their Road to Recovery program.
When cancer patients need a ride to their appointments, who do they call? The American Cancer Society’s “Road to Recovery” volunteer program answers that very question.
“It is a volunteer-based program where people basically donate their passenger seat to help get cancer patients to their much-needed treatment,” American Cancer Society community development manager Kayla Hanson said.
Transportation to cancer treatments is a major issue for many patients. Annual estimates suggest as many as 3.6 million Americans delay cancer treatments or fail to receive adequate care because they lack transportation.
“This program is so important because, a lot of time, cancer patients don’t have family members or others that can take them to their appointments or to their treatments, and so they might not get that treatment because of the ride situation. So the American Cancer Society is able to provide volunteers to help get them there,” she said.
Those who volunteer use their own vehicles and receive no reimbursement for their gasoline or time. It is their way to help the patients so that they do not have to fight the battle of cancer alone.
“We have drivers that have been with us for many years, and it is a very satisfying and very rewarding opportunity to know that you are making a difference in a cancer patient’s life,” said Hanson.
To volunteer as a driver, you must have reliable transportation and insurance and must submit to a background check.
Specific needs for volunteers include a good driving record, a current, valid driver’s license, proof of adequate automobile insurance, completion of the American Cancer Society training course and regular access to a computer, laptop or tablet computer.
It’s helpful if volunteers also have schedule availability, typically Monday-Saturday, Hanson said.
If you know a cancer patient who needs transportation, call the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program at 1-800-227-2345 or visit them online at www.cancer.org/involved/volunteer/road-to-recovery.html.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.