On the Road

The American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers for their Road to Recovery Program. The program provides free transportation for patients receiving cancer treatments. The program began in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties six years ago and has about 65 active drivers donating their time. Last year, drivers provided 84 local patients with 2,101 trips to appointments.

“We are always in need of more drivers, especially as this program and the patient need continue to grow each year,” said Jill Pait, panhandle patient services manager for ACS in an e-mail. “To help ease the burden on some of our volunteer drivers, we are trying to recruit at least 30 more local drivers.”

Drivers who wish to volunteer can set how much time they have to give. You can help a few times over the course of the year or once a week. You can even arrange to just drop off or pick up a patient. Some appointments like radiation only last about 20 minutes, while chemotherapy can take anywhere from 1 to 5 hours.

“Many of our local patients are too ill or weak to drive themselves or do not have access to a personal vehicle,” Pait said. “Some patients have treatments every day for six to 12 weeks while others need to go once a week for six months or more. This often presents a huge economical and physical burden on the patient and their family and or caregiver.”

If you have a safe driving record, free time and a serviceable vehicle you can be on the Road to Recovery. Contact Jill Pait at 266-2288 or (407) 489-2867.

“Transportation assistance is one of the greatest needs for cancer patients,” Pait said. “Without volunteer services many of these patients would have no other way to get to their often lifesaving treatments.”