The American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers to give patients a lift to their treatments.

The Road to Recovery program is seeking volunteer drivers to train in order to give patients free rides to their appointments.

“There are cancer patients right in your own community and in nearby communities that, for a variety of reasons, just can’t get to treatment,” Patti Lestrange Mack, communications director with the American Cancer Society, said Thursday evening. “Getting to treatment is sometimes the hardest part about treatment.”

After pausing the program due to public health concerns during the pandemic, the American Cancer Society is relaunching the volunteer driver program. 

Lestrange Mack noted that some people’s care can be delayed because of transportation issues. She said some patients are unable medically to drive after their treatment, friends and family may not be available to take them, they could have financial obstacles, or they use public transportation.

Volunteer drivers trained by the society donate their time and can provide as few or as many rides as they want each month, she said. They can schedule their availability online.

“You can give one hour once a month, you could give 40 hours a month,” she said. “You can give as little as one ride once a month, it’s completely flexible.”

A mobile-friendly website is available for volunteer drivers to view and accept ride requests.

Applications are being accepted now. All volunteer drivers must participate in a short training program, have a good driving record, a valid driver’s license, proof of adequate automobile insurance, and have access to a safe and reliable vehicle. Applicants will also undergo a DMV screening. Drivers must certify that they are fully vaccinated and will continue to maintain that status during their service to the program.

“Something as small as driving a cancer patient once a month can make a world of difference,” Lestrange Mack said. “If we can get one new driver as a result of this, it would make a huge difference on Long Island.”

For more information or to volunteer, visit cancer.org/drive or call 800-227-2345.

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