Donna Drysdale is doing her best to make the trip to treatment smoother. The Parkland resident is the Broward County coordinator for the American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program. It’s a nationwide organization that matches cancer patients in need of transportation with volunteers to drive them to their chemotherapy treatments.
Drysdale has been volunteering for Road To Recovery for more than a decade. “I met the former organizer for this wonderful group while I was at church,” Drysdale said. “It gives me a focus in life as a retired person, and I’ve met so many interesting people working with program.”
Drysdale currently organizes about 100 drivers for the Broward area and has about 50 to 60 drivers who participate weekly. “We have many retired volunteers as well as mothers who are working and fit in volunteer time,” Drysdale added. “Some drivers drive once a month, while others volunteer three times a week.”
Headquartered in Tampa, Road To Recovery is always seeking volunteers as the demand for drivers continues to grow. “Our motto is ‘The treatment isn’t any good if you can’t get there,’” she said.
“There are cancer patients who can’t afford gas or can’t drive. We also have cases where family members can drive the patient, but they are fearful of losing their jobs so they call us. Sometimes we find out people are riding the bus to treatment.”
Drysdale recalls a mother who took two buses, with her child, in the intense summer heat to get chemotherapy treatment and how uncomfortable it can be having chemo and then having to deal with such stressful conditions. “The need for this program and volunteers for this program is great, and we especially have a need for more volunteer drivers in Hollywood and Deerfield Beach,” Drysdale said. “Our drivers are really special, and our patients are so grateful. even if you can’t volunteer to become a driver, you can always make a donation to provide the gas for a treatment trip.”
To become a driver for Road to Recovery, call 877-901-2862. If you are a patient in need of transportation, call 800-227- 2345 or visit Cancer.org.
Contact Joanie Cox-Henry at email@example.com or follow her tweets @joaniecox.