• Volunteer helps steer cancer patients to recovery

    By: Kevin Campbell


    Over the last two years, Sarah DeCrane Norton has volunteered to drive cancer patients to treatment. Part of her calling to serve others is because her father, who lives in Florida, has bladder cancer and must go to treatment several times a week.


    While her father has help getting to and from his appointments in Florida, this is Norton’s way of supporting them by helping other cancer patients here in North Carolina.  


    “Some treatments require daily appointments,” Norton said. ‘’That is taxing on anyone even if they feel good.  If you can take one item off the to-do list of someone dealing with cancer, it's a good thing.”


    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.


    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.   


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


    One of the most memorable experiences Norton has had was helping a patient feed the homeless.


    “She would make meals for people, load them up in her car and drive into the city to deliver them to those on the street,” Norton said.


    Norton started collecting food and containers to help her in her efforts.


    “It even grew to several of us setting up tables on a weekend and providing a large buffet to serve dozens of homeless with the patient,” she 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.


    Norton encourages anyone interested to volunteer.


    “You will learn a lot about yourself, what is important in life, how might you react in the situations that some of these folks have had to deal with,” Norton said. “You will feel good that you were able to help someone even in a small way.”


    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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