Road to Recovery program needs your help
by Staff Writer
by Erica Oglesby
Drivers are needed in Mecklenburg County.
The Road to Recovery program, started by the American Cancer Society in 1960, provides rides to cancer patients needing transport to their area treatment facility. The group is actively trying to recruit volunteers in the Charlotte area due to a large number of people in need.
“There is a huge need for patient transportation, and in Mecklenburg County we are really trying to rebuild the (Road to Recovery) program,” said LeeAnna Perry, mission delivery manager with the American Cancer Society.
A lack of reliable transportation to and from appointments can quickly hinder a patients health and survival odds. Thus, the program is vital to meeting the needs of the society’s long list of patient’s in need of rides. Because the need is so vital and varies depending on the medical schedules of the patient, any volunteer interested in participating can easily find a way to plug in no matter what their schedule looks like.
“We are always in need, seven days a week,” Perry said, adding the process of getting involved is easy and swift.
Perry said the process to become a volunteer is short and sweet, noting it usually only takes a week to get someone involved. “We are wanting to get volunteers in here as soon as possible,” she added.
Perry has seen a lot of people who have previously known someone battling cancer find relief in helping out with the program.
“(The program is like) therapy for them to help someone else,” she said.
It’s therapy that doesn’t cost anything, and involves little obligation on the volunteer’s part – two huge perks to participating in the program.
“It is something very meaningful that you don’t have to have a lot of time for,” Perry said.
Chris Cruz of south Charlotte was inspired to get involved with cancer patients after watching his aunt battle leukemia. He started volunteering in the fall of 2010 and is glad to do his part.
“I just saw what she was going through and,” Cruz said, “I guess I just wanted to do something to help her and this is my way of helping people for her.”
Cruz said watching his aunt, who is now in remission, go through painful treatments really propelled him to get involved.
“I’ve really enjoyed it and met some great people,” Cruz said. “Something so small can mean so much to a person.”
Anyone who has a few extra hours to spare can commit, Cruz said, adding that the experience is well worth any time invested.
“It is an experience you will never forget,” Cruz said. “You get to have the feeling that something so small will mean the world to somebody,”
Want to volunteer with the Road to Recovery program?
Volunteers simply need to pass a background check, prove they have a valid driver’s license, auto insurance and a reliable vehicle. To find out more, contact LeeAnna Perry at 704-553-5373 or by email at email@example.com.