For Texomans battling cancer, treatment is a vital lifeline. But many have no way of getting to their appointments. That's where this month's Newschannel 6 Community Service Champion nominee comes in. The couple dedicates their time and travels to make sure patients have the best chance at beating the odds.
Harold and Margaret Adams are Road to Recovery drivers. It's an American Cancer Society program designed to drive patients with no available family or friends to and from medical appointments. The Adams ave logged 28,230 miles for the Road to Recovery program.
"Helping people is what it is. Those who really can't help themselves," Harold said.
Over the past eight years, they've been as far west as Vernon, as far east as Decatur, as far south as Jacksboro and everywhere in between.
"What I'm doing is not a job, it's not something I have to do. It's something I get to do and I love doing what I'm doing," Harold said.
When the Adams first started as volunteers they weren't personally affected by cancer, but a couple years in, that all changed. Their daughter was diagnosed with melanoma in her left eye. While it was very serious, she is now a five year survivor.
"It was like the Lord said, 'You need to do this to prepare for what's coming,' and it did prepare us," Harold said.
They were made aware of just how important it is to get proper treatment.
"For so many people, if you don't meet their needs and they don't get treatment, it could mean a life or death situation. So, I look at every time I take someone, that's another day they will be able to survive. I am getting them that much closer to the end of treatment," Harold said.
When the American Cancer Society closed down its office in Wichita Falls more than a year and a half ago, the organization looked to volunteers for a driver coordinator. Harold stepped up and has been doing it ever since, even growing the volunteer pool to now eleven drivers.
"I'm thankful we have the Adams to coordinate. They are just a good inspiration. I think the patients appreciate their friendship and everything they do," Debbie Walton said.
She is the community manager for the American Cancer Society in Wichita Falls.
If at all possible, the Adams turn no one away. While it can be heart-breaking, growing close relationships with many who loose their battle, the Adams said the survivor stories make it all worth it.
"You follow them through from the beginning and at the last treatment they have a diploma and they have a smile and are cancer free. That makes me smile all over," Harold said.
"I got teary-eyed thinking it means so much to them to be volunteers. Where would ACS be if we didn't have volunteers like that?" Debbie said.
If you'd like more information on how to become a Road to Recovery driver, click here.
If you know someone you'd like to nominate as a Community Service Champion nominee, click here.