American Cancer Society 'Road to Recovery' program in need of drivers

WICHITA COUNTY, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Since 2005, Harold Adams, a military veteran and a volunteer for the American Cancer Society 'Road to Recovery' program has given 1,565 rides in and around Wichita County.

"Today, I've actually driven 63,455 miles for cancer patients and that's roughly two in a half times around the entire world," Adams said.

Adams said he believes this program was preparing him for what was coming.

"We had been driving for quite a while and not knowing at the time that we were being prepared for my own daughter who had come down with ocular melanoma in her left eye," Adams said.

Volunteers like Adams provide transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.

"I was trying to scrounge up volunteers and (my mother's) friends were not available. They all worked. So, I didn't really have anybody to do that for me," volunteer Linda Dowdy said.

For Dowdy, this is something she said her mother, who passed away 20 years ago, could have benefited from if the program was available.

For that reason, both of these volunteers continue to help cancer patients in Wichita County but with only four drivers, one making trips as far as Abilene, things are getting a little difficult.

"Without our service, the end result would be just curl up on the couch or bed and die, but we do everything we can to try to prevent that," Adams said.

Even though this program could be time-consuming Adams said it always comes with a reward.

"The greatest reward is when you take a patient and they go through the whole program and come out on the last day," Adams said. "They got a diploma in their hand, a smile on their face, and say I'm cancer-free. I'm a survivor."

If you want to become a driver for the Road to Recovery program, a volunteer recruitment event will be held on Thursday at the Texas Oncology Wichita Falls Cancer Center from 10 a.m. to Noon.

If you can't make it to the event, visit their web page to sign up.

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