The American Cancer Society needs volunteer drivers to take local cancer patients to and from their cancer-related appointments. According to Marybeth Torsell, local program director of the American Cancer Society, Logan County has an extreme shortage of volunteers.
“We currently have only two drivers and they are not able to keep up with the needs of the community,” said Torsell.
“One cancer patient requiring radiation therapy could need anywhere from 20 to 30 trips to treatment in six weeks,” added Torsell. “A patient receiving chemotherapy might report for treatment weekly for up to a year. In many cases, a patient is driven to hospitals or clinics by relatives or friends, but even these patients must occasionally seek alternative transportation. That’s where the Road To Recovery program comes in,” added Torsell.
The Road to Recovery program has been in Logan County for several years. But sadly, there are not enough drivers to keep up with the need. In 2018, drivers in Logan county provided 57 rides to treatment, but unfortunately, 45 rides went unmet, leaving patients scrambling to find alternate transportation,” according to Torsell.
An estimated 258 Logan County residents will learn that they have cancer this year; however, getting to their scheduled treatment may be a challenge. The Society is currently looking for volunteer drivers in Logan County so that all patients have transportation when they need it.
An information meeting for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer driver will be held on Thursday, Feb. 21, at Knowlton Library in Bellefontaine from 1 to 2 p.m. This is an opportunity to come learn about the program and get any questions answered. Register for the information meeting by calling Marybeth at 888.227.6446 x 5101 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you can call 1-800-227-2345, or visit cancer.org for additional information about the Road to Recovery program.
This program not only helps patients, but is also rewarding for the volunteer. “Several of our drivers have volunteered for a number of years,” said Torsell.
To be a volunteer driver, an interested person must simply have a reliable vehicle, a valid driver’s license, proof of auto insurance, a good driving record and access to a computer with minimal computer knowledge.
Cancer is a life-changing health challenge. Not being able to get to a scheduled doctor’s appointment or important treatment session makes it worse.
The good news is that caring people and organizations such as the American Cancer Society have created programs like the Road to Recovery to address these everyday transportation challenges and really make it easy and simple for people to volunteer and help out.
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.