Road to Recovery, American Cancer Society rideshare program

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 7:55 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - An hour for you could be worth a lifetime to someone else.

Right now, the American Cancer Society needs your help in making a change in the lives of those who live with the disease with their Road to Recovery rideshare program.

And when it comes to tackling the second leading cause of death in the United States, a short car ride can go a long way.

“The little bit of time that it takes to I mean you can do a ride depending on where you live and how far you’re choosing to travel. That’s maybe an hour, an hour and a half out of your schedule in the run of a week, you’re literally saving a life from cancer,” said Tenna Pappas, the American Cancer Society Associate Director for Community Implementation.

The American Cancer Society works to ensure that access to care is at the top of their list of priorities for patients, and a big part of that access involves a way to get to their appointments.

“Transportation limitations are the second leading reason why patients don’t complete their treatment schedules or agree to get treatments, second only to the financial situation,” added Pappas.

However, a need must be met with an equal amount of assistance, and after shutting the program down for over two years due to the pandemic, volunteer numbers have gone way down.

The Rideshare Program is made up of a number of volunteers who all participate at times and locations that are convenient to them.

“It’s really important that the patients get to those appointments. Sometimes they have transportation issues and that makes it hard. I would think their treatment plans are there for a reason. It’s kind of a problem for the treatment program if they can’t make the appointments. It’s just critical that they get there.” said Cindy Hall,a volunteer driver.

So not only can you select rides through the ride-share program that fit your schedule, but you can also choose those that are convenient to your location.

Here’s how the Road to Recover roundtrip app works:

Patients rides get loaded in, and drivers can either receive an alert or go into the app and see ride requests in their area, And once you’re linked to a patient, organizers just ask one thing.

Reach out to the patient and say, “Hey, I’m Susie Smith, I’m with the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery Program, I’m going to be your driver, I see you’d like to be picked up at 9 o’clock at your house.” said Pappas.

Hall said “One night she checked and there were 46 rides that had not been fulfilled yet in the next three weeks. There’s a great need in this area.”

“In the Columbia area specifically, we’ve got about half the drivers, even a fourth of the drivers we used to have. But we still have the same, if not a greater need for patients needing trips.” added Pappas.

This is why The American Cancer Society needs your help.

Cancer doesn’t slow down, so neither can the force of volunteers looking to make a difference. So if you’re interested in becoming a volunteer driver for the Road to Recovery Program, Tenna tells us it’s really simple.

You can call the American Cancer Society at 1-888-227-2345. Or you can head to Cancer.

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