Volunteer drivers sought to transport cancer patients to treatment

TROY — Getting to and from medical treatments is one of the greatest concerns cancer patients face during treatment. To ensure patients get to those much-needed treatments, the American Cancer Society provides free rides through its Road To Recovery program.

The society is currently looking for volunteer drivers in Miami and surrounding counties so that all patients have transportation when they need it. An estimated 67,150 Ohio residents will learn that they have cancer this year; however getting to their scheduled treatment may be a challenge.

“One cancer patient requiring radiation therapy could need anywhere from 20 to 30 trips to treatment in six weeks,” said Marybeth Torsell, program manager for the American Cancer Society. “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.”

“The program not only helps patients, but is also rewarding for the volunteer. Several of our drivers have volunteered for a number of years,” added Torsell. The program has been available in Miami County for several years, but there are not enough drivers to keep up with the need. In 2018, drivers provided 85 rides to treatment, but 96 rides went unmet, leaving patients scrambling to find alternate transportation.

There will be informational meetings being held for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer driver. The first will be held on Thursday, April 4, in the conference room at Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. Enter through the Dugan Infusion Center on 3130 N. County Road 25-A, north of Troy. The second will be on Tuesday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Vandalia Library located on 330 S. Dixie Drive in Dayton. This is an opportunity to come learn about the program and get any questions answered.

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.

For additional information about the Road To Recovery program call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org. Please register for the information meeting by calling Marybeth at 888.227.6446 x 5101 or email marybeth.torsell@cancer.org.

For the Miami Valley Today