OKLAHOMA CITY – A program that helps cancer patients across the state get to their life-saving treatments is in need of volunteers.
In addition to fighting a deadly disease, many cancer patients also have to try to find a way to access treatments that can often occur multiple times a week.
“Road To Recovery” is a program offered by the American Cancer Society of Oklahoma. It provides transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.
“I saw one of the American Cancer Society vans in my neighborhood giving one of my neighbors a ride,” Nancy Hughes said. “If folks knew they had transportation they could count on, it reduces stress a bit. Without that option, people would have to make difficult choices over when to get treatment or just stop. It could be life-saving.”
Last year, the program provided more than 5,000 rides to patients throughout Oklahoma. However, organizers say another 1,700 ride requests were unmet because the program didn’t have enough volunteer drivers.
“The more drivers we have, the better we are able to meet the growing needs of patients,” said Anthony Wilson, ACSOK Program Manager for Mission Delivery. “Currently we have 68 volunteers across the state, split pretty evenly between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. We appreciate and value each volunteer who donates a portion of their time to helping others. Still, 25 percent of our needs are going unanswered simply because we don’t have enough drivers, and we desperately need more.”
The American Cancer Society has its own fleet of vehicles, and volunteers are welcome to use those.
“Our drivers make the determination how far they are willing to drive,” Wilson said. “It’s really up to them to select the patients they pick up, and how often they drive for us. We have some volunteers who drive almost every day, and some who drive a few times a month. It’s just whatever the volunteer is comfortable with.”