Sometimes the biggest challenge in cancer treatment is getting there. Thankfully, the American Cancer Society is there to help with a committed group of individuals that drive patients to nearby treatment centers to get the care they need. But according the society, many volunteer drivers have headed south for the cold weather months, leaving many cancer patients without rides to the treatment they need now.

"There is a great need for people to help by picking up cancer patients from their home and transporting them to their nearby treatment centers," according to Bonnie Baldwin, community executive for Health Initiatives at the American Cancer Society.

"The American Cancer Society is currently seeking volunteers from every town in Connecticut to drive cancer patients to their treatment appointments," she said. "If you have a car, and even one hour once a month, you can make a real difference in someone's life by becoming a driver."

A cancer patient who needs radiation therapy might require between 20 and 30 trips to the clinic within six weeks. A patient receiving chemotherapy might report for treatment weekly for up to a year.

"Treatment can make a patient feel too sick to drive. In many cases, a patient is driven to hospitals and clinics by relatives or friends, but occasionally they need to seek alternative transportation. That's where Road to Recovery, an American Cancer Society community program, helps."

One Hour Once A Month

Volunteer drivers receive simple training and an orientation from the American Cancer Society, and are asked to volunteer for at least one hour, one day, once a month. The society matches drivers' availability with the needs of patients who call.

"Some volunteers say driving patients is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do," adds Baldwin. "Sometimes a driver will have the opportunity to bring the same patient several times, get to know them, and be able to offer support. For patients who have no family in the area, volunteer drivers really make a difference."

For more information, or to volunteer as a Road to Recovery driver, contact Bonnie Baldwin at 203-563-1529 or at Bonnie.L.Baldwin@cancer.org.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, they fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight.

To learn more about them or to get help, call any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.