Last year, the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program in Eastern Missouri provided 1,364 rides to cancer patients. But, the demand for volunteers continues to increase. Road to Recovery is a program of volunteers who drive patients to treatment centers and home again. More volunteers are needed in the St.Francois County area to ensure that all patients have transportation when they need it. The Society reports that every day thousands of cancer patients need a ride to a medical facility for treatment and if you volunteer your time as a driver, you can help save a life.
Susan Dusin of Farmington is a true ambassador for the Road to Recovery program. Currently, she is a volunteer driver and answers calls in the Cancer Resource Center for the area. Dusin is excited about the Road to Recovery service and willing to travel to ensure patients make their treatments.
“Volunteering for this wonderful service makes me feel like I am accomplishing something,” says Dusin. “The program offerings are a big help to those patients, especially during these rough economic times.” While volunteering in the Cancer Resource Center, Dusin received inquiries from cancer patients about transportation from Ste. Genevieve County. “I have no objectives to traveling, but there is more opportunity to go around,” Dusin expressed.
The requirements are simple. The program works with flexible schedules, a good driving record and a serviceable vehicle. “The Road to Recovery program is the most critical service the American Cancer Society provides,” says Laura Ozenkoski, regional director of health initiatives for the American Cancer Society.
Half of all men and more than 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. 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 those patients must occasionally seek alternative transportation. That’s where Road to Recovery comes in. “The last thing we want are our patients to worry about is how and if they will get to their treatments,” added Ozenkoski.
For additional information about the Road to Recovery program or to volunteer, call Lynn Stephan at your local American Cancer Society, 314-286-8165 or visit www.cancer.org.