Volunteers help cancer fighters on road to recovery

Source: KHOU / Kevin Reece

Cancer patients need a team of highly trained doctors and nurses to survive the regimen of chemotherapy and radiation designed to save their lives, but they might also need you.

The American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program teams cancer patients with volunteer drivers who agree to take them to and from their appointments.

Janie Taylor, a cancer patient for the last 25 years, says it is a vital need.

“It definitely, it is a fog,” she said trying to explain how difficult it is to concentrate, and sometimes how difficult it is just to stand, after lengthy and painful chemotherapy treatments.

“You are so exhausted,” she said of one hospital visit that lasted more than 13 hours.

Taylor has been through 10 different chemotherapy regimens and for the last 13 years has been considered a “stage four” patient from an original breast cancer diagnosis that spread to her lungs, bones, and lymph nodes.

Right now, she is in yet another clinical trial treatment program.

“There’s no way I could have gotten myself home without some help,” she said of the ACS Road to Recovery program.

One of the volunteers is Holly Charles, a high school teacher. She has used her 3-month summer vacations the last four years volunteering to drive at least two cancer patients a week to their appointments.

“They simply need help,” she said admitting that part of her motivation is that cancer has touched her family too.”

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