BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program is in need of volunteers to donate their time and passenger seat to help get cancer patients to their appointments.
Road To Recovery is a free program offered by the Society that provides transportation to and from treatment cancer patients who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.
“Every driver has what it takes to help save lives,” said Samantha Martinez, program manager for mission delivery with the American Cancer Society. “We’re urgently asking drivers to volunteer to take cancer patients to treatment. One cancer patient requiring radiation therapy could need between 20 to 30 trips to treatment over the course of six weeks. A patient receiving chemotherapy may need weekly treatment for up to a year.”
Many cancer patients do not own a vehicle, can’t afford the extra gasoline, or don’t have access to public transportation. Some patients may be elderly and unable to drive, too ill to drive, or have no family members or friends who are able to provide regular assistance with transportation. Even the best treatment can’t work if a patient can’t get there.
The Road To Recovery program provides transportation options for patients in these situations and currently is in need of volunteer drivers across Connecticut. Volunteer drivers donate their time and the use of their vehicles so patients can receive the cancer-related treatments they need. Drivers also provide encouragement and support. Last year, over 380 patients received nearly 6,500 rides across Connecticut.
To volunteer, you must have a valid driver’s license, a safe and reliable vehicle, and proof of automobile insurance. Drivers must be at least 18 years old and have a good driving history. They arrange their own schedules and can commit as many or as few hours as their schedule allows. The American Cancer Society provides free training to drivers and conducts criminal background and driving record checks.
Volunteer coordinators also are needed to help schedule the requested rides. Coordinators can work from any location that is convenient for them – even taking their work to a warmer climate during the winter months. Great organization and communication skills can make a major impact on the well-being of cancer patients in the community.
For information about the Road To Recovery program or to become a driver, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.