A volunteer driven program to help get cancer patients to their scheduled appointments when they can't get there on their own is available across Southwest Virginia.
Melvin Crowder is one of more than a dozen volunteers across our area who help patients get to their radiation or chemotherapy treatments through the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery program. The local ACS office says often, patients to skip appointments because they don't have a ride. Melvin has driven for the program for six years and says there's no reason anyone should have to make that choice.
"There's a chance that if somebody couldn't take her she doesn't drive and she lives by herself," Crowder said of a woman he recently drove to an appointment. "It's just a great feeling to do anything when you're helping people but it's been a very, very personal thing for me." Crowder lost his first wife to breast cancer and is familiar with the frequent appointments cancer patients keep. "I'm sure there's a lot of other folks out there that have been though what I've been through, " he said. "But you're not by yourself, there's always help."
You can call the ACS tool free to schedule transportation, 800-ACS-2345. The organization asks that you call in advance, allowing a few days notice to schedule a ride. The ACS is also looking for drivers to volunteer. Drivers need to be 21 and older, have a reliable vehicle, valid driver's license, insurance and pass a background check.