Cancer treatments come with a lot of worries — side effects, scheduling, payments — but one that patients shouldn’t concern themselves with is transportation.
American Cancer Society offers patients free door-to-door rides to their treatments. The Road to Recovery program can be a lifesaver for patients who are too ill to drive themselves, lack access to their own vehicle or don’t have family or friends who can take them to their appointments. So how is this possible?
How it works
This important resource for cancer patients is supported through the kindness and generosity of ACS’ team of volunteers.
Road to Recovery volunteers donate their time, and their own vehicles, to pick patients up and take them to a medical facility in their area where the patient is scheduled for treatment.
The service is solely for patients who are beginning or continuing cancer treatments; those who have completed treatment and are seeing a physician for a follow-up appointment are not eligible for Road to Recovery.
Participants also need to be able to walk independently, or travel with a caregiver. A companion is also required for patients under 18.
How can I get involved?
If you’re looking to take advantage of this important resource for a cancer patient in your life, or for yourself, all you need to do is call the ACS helpline to get started: 1-800-227-2345. From there, the patient will be matched with a volunteer driver in the area; all organizers ask is that driving requests are made at least four business days before the appointment.
Volunteering is just as simple as signing up! Interested volunteers must be over 18 and possess a current and valid driver’s license, a reliable vehicle and car insurance. All volunteers have to undergo a training session to introduce them to the program and its requirements, a process that is revisited yearly.
According to the program description, many volunteers are motivated by a personal connection to cancer: Some are survivors themselves or have family and friends who’ve faced the illness.
If driving isn’t your thing, ACS also works with volunteer coordinators, who match patients with drivers and help schedule appointments. Both positions offer flexible schedules, so volunteers can give the time when it’s most convenient for them.
Road to Recovery is a great way to tap into teamwork and make the lives of cancer patients a little bit easier.