— The Road to Recovery program is a free service offered by the American Cancer Society.
“Its sole purpose is to assist patients with transportation needs in getting to and from their cancer treatments and medical appointments,” reports Terri Jones, ACS southeast Indiana health initiatives coordinator, Columbus.
Even though strides have been made to make cancer treatments available, “It’s meaningless if people have barriers getting to and from their treatments .... it can be a huge challenge, particularly for those needing to go to radiation treatments. It can put a strain on a family’s budget, and it’s very difficult for patients who don’t have family members living in the area.
“People with all the resources in the world may have children who live on the other side of the country. Also, a family member may be risking his or her job by taking off.”
Currently, Road to Recovery is not offered in Ripley or Franklin County, “but we are certainly interested in having drivers in the area.”
If it is started in these counties, volunteers would be able to "commit as often or infrequently as their schedule allows. The need for drivers would be during the daytime hours.” They would also be required to attend a two-hour training session, complete a background check and be insured.
"The program truly makes a difference and really does save lives because if you can't get to your treatments, you can't get well,” she points out.
The ACS also has a national resource directory. "Our goal is to always serve cancer patients. The challenge is often for them to know what is available at the time they need the help.
"All of the programs we are able to provide are due to the generosity of folks in the community through Relay for Life and other fundraisers,” Jones adds.
For more information on programs or to volunteer, persons can call 800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
Diane Raver can be contacted at 812-934-4343, Ext. 114; or diane.raver@ batesvilleheraldtribune.com.