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Drivers Needed Statewide for the Cancer 'Road to Recovery'

July 28, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - A breast cancer survivor wanted to "pay it forward" and find a rewarding volunteer job. So for the last two years, Laura Day has been driving cancer patients in Indianapolis to their treatment appointments as part of the American Cancer Society volunteer Road to Recovery program. She says it works well for her.

"I decided that was the thing I could definitely do. I had been there, so I sort of understood what people had been going through. I had a dependable car. I had two days a week I was off of work. That's sort of how it came about."

American Cancer Society program manager Katie Wilson says the Road to Recovery program needs more volunteer drivers across the state.

"It's a huge help to us, it's a huge help to the patients, and drivers can know they are truly helping save lives by doing this."

The American Cancer Society estimates that 10 percent to 20 percent of patients either cancel or postpone cancer treatment because they do not have a car, cannot afford gas, or their friends and family cannot take time off from work to help. Volunteer drivers living anywhere in Indiana can sign up online at www.cancer.org or by calling 1-800-227-2345.

Day says the Road to Recovery program is the most gratifying volunteer opportunity she has ever had. With her history of breast cancer, the patients sometimes feel comfortable, she adds.

"It works both ways. Maybe I'm helping some people feel more comfortable about talking about their condition, but a lot of times the patients have helped me put problems I'm having into perspective and cheered me up."

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN