Cancer patients need people to drive them to treatment

A program that gives cancer patients a free ride to treatment is looking for more drivers.

According to the American Cancer Society, 1,000 people in Berrien County will be diagnosed with cancer this year and there is a surplus of people who need assistance getting to Lakeland Hospital for treatment.

Right now there are 6 active volunteers in the Road to Recovery program but they need 20 more drivers.

Debbie Bianchi was diagnosed with breast cancer a month ago, and she has to receive radiation every day for 3 weeks.

Bianchi said, “They've done the surgery and now I'm just doing three weeks of radiation.”

She was elated when she found out she qualified for the program because she needs a ride every day.

Bianchi said, “My husband works in the morning and we don't have a second vehicle.”

Marilyn Lucy, a volunteer driver, said giving up a few hours in a week to take a patient to treatment is rewarding and can helps save lives.

Lucy said, “After you've gone through treatment, you're not feeling that well. So it's nice that I could bring her there and get her home so she can relax at home.”

This was Lucy's first time driving Bianchi to treatment. She said radiation treatment usually takes 15-30 minutes and she waits in the waiting room.

Lucy said, "Having to deal with this and all the other things they need to deal with, all the treatments, and how they're feeling, maybe not feeling like eating and that sort of thing, that they don't have to worry about getting there and back again. That's one thing off their list.”

Bianchi is thankful for these volunteers and she hopes more sign up.

Bianchi said, “It means a lot. It really does, to know that they take time out of their schedule to sit there and wait until im done with my treatment.”

If you would like to apply to be a Road to Recovery driver in Berrien County you can call 1-800-227-2345.

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