Road to Recovery program seeks volunteersBy Emily Etheredge Published 2:16pm Wednesday, December 26, 2012
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 26,400 residents in Alabama will be diagnosed with cancer this year. For many of them, getting to treatment may be the toughest part of their fight. The Road to Recovery program is one component of the American Cancer Society’s efforts to remove this barrier and help people overcome cancer.
Some patients do not have a vehicle or may be too ill to drive. Family and friends can sometimes help provide transportation. At other times, a patient’s lack of transportation may prevent them from receiving potentially lifesaving cancer treatments.
Kristen Taylor of the American Cancer Society in Chilton County said just one patient receiving radiation treatment may require 20 to 30 trips for treatment in just a few weeks.
“Road to Recovery reduces the burden felt by many patients and allows them to focus on getting well,” Taylor said in a release.
The Road to Recovery program utilizes local volunteer drivers who provide an essential and necessary service to their neighbors.
“The American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program ensures that patients have transportation when they need it the most,” Taylor said. “It is a valuable service but one that requires tremendous volunteer manpower which means we are always looking for new people.”
Mid South Division associate director for the American Cancer Society Rhonda Hollen said those that choose to volunteer are sometimes the difference between life and death.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize that if some of these patients are not picked up and taken to their treatments then they don’t get better,” Hollen said. “Those that are willing to drive provide a valuable resource.”
Hollen said the program often sees a difficulty in finding volunteers to drive on a regular basis.
“There will be some that volunteer their time for an entire month but their schedule only allows them to volunteer that month and they are unable to do it again,” Hollen said. “We are just trying to fill a gap in the rotating basis of volunteers.”
Anyone interested in volunteering as a Road to Recovery driver, must have a valid driver’s license, access to a vehicle and personal automobile insurance. Volunteers may drive as frequently as their schedule permits them to transport patients to and from area treatment centers.
For more information about Road to Recovery or to volunteer, contact Taylor at 558-7861 or 1-800-227-2345, or visit www.cancer.org for more information.