ACS seeks Cashiers-area drivers to take cancer patients to med facilities
By Ryan Hanchett / WNC News Share
SOUTHERN JACKSON COUNTY -- A reliable vehicle and a willingness to help neighbors in need are the two primary requirements for American Cancer Society officials as they search for volunteers to take part in the ACS Road to Recovery program.
“We will take as many volunteers as want to sign up, but we really need at least two in each county,” ACS Program Manager Sharon Johnson said. “One of the biggest barriers for people who need cancer treatment and do not receive it is the lack of transportation. Volunteers in (southern Jackson) County will primarily only be asked to drive patients from their homes to Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands and other medical facilities.”
Johnson explained that when volunteers enroll in the program they register online and specify how far they are willing to drive. Some volunteers travel up to 25 miles, others 50 and some up to 100 miles. There are volunteer openings in southern Jackson and every county across western North Carolina.
“The long trips would be for some form of specialized care in Asheville or another regional medical center,” Johnson said. “Fortunately for patients in (southern Jackson) County, most of their care can be handled right (on the Cashiers-Highlands plateau).”
The Road to Recovery program is in need of volunteers ages 18-85 who have a current driver’s license, adequate auto insurance, a good driving history, and access to a safe and reliable vehicle.
Training is conducted online via videos. Scheduling is done through an online program where drivers can adjust what days, what hours and far they wish to drive. Interested volunteers should visit cancer.org/drive or call 1-800-227-2345 to sign up.
Any patient who needs a ride should contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 a minimum of three business days in advance of the date that the ride is needed.