• Driving cancer patients to doctor visits is a gift to many in Charlotte

    By: Kevin Campbell


    Over the last year, Kay Brown has volunteered to drive cancer patients to treatment. Part of her calling to serve others is the joy she receives from the many patients she meets in the program.


    “You will receive much more than you give,” Brown said. “There is such a huge need for more volunteers in all areas of our country.”


    Every day, thousands of cancer patients need a ride to treatment, but some may not have a way to get there. The American Cancer Society Road To Recovery program provides transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.


    Brown said she is in awe of the positive attitude of all the patients she has transported.  They share stories with each other, and when they do, they are filled with positive expressions of gratitude for each day they are alive.


    “It always makes me travel back to my home counting my blessings,” Brown said.


    Brown is a retired teacher who has time to spare, so the opportunity to assist cancer patients is a delight she couldn’t pass up.


    For those who cannot drive themselves or have no other means of getting to their treatment, Road To Recovery volunteers donate their spare time to give cancer patients a much-needed lift.   


    Brown said as a volunteer she can get to know cancer patients, and the experience has opened her eyes to people and the many complexities of the battle against cancer.


    One of the most memorable driving experiences Brown has had was a simple trip to Chick-fil-A.


    One time one of Brown’s patients brought her young son with her, and the doctor’s appointment ended up lasting much longer than planned and the son had not eaten.  On the way home, Brown asked him about different kinds of food he liked to eat, and she discovered the boy had never eaten at a Chick-fil-A. 


    The next stop was Chick-fil-A. “The wide smiles on his and his mom’s faces were worth more than any money as we sat in the restaurant for a late afternoon meal,” Brown said.


    Even the best treatment can’t work if a patient can’t get there. That’s why a successful transportation assistance program can be a tremendous, potentially life-saving asset to the community.


    Brown encourages anyone interested to volunteer.


    “I get to be a listening ear for each patient as I hear stories about what they have and are going through,” Brown said.


    If you own or have regular access to a safe, reliable vehicle, then you’re already on the road to volunteering. You also need good driving record, a current, valid driver’s license, proof of adequate automobile insurance and a few other things.


    First, submit some basic information to the American Cancer Society. From there a volunteer care specialist will contact you to discuss the program, your expectations, and what you hope to gain from the experience.


    Click here to learn more about becoming a Road To Recovery volunteer or call the American Cancer Society anytime at 800-227-2345.


    If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte, public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com

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