VOLUNTEER: NC cancer patients need help getting to & from treatment

The American Cancer Society of Central and Eastern North Carolina is looking for help getting patients to and from treatment.

Right now, they have more cancer patients that need rides to and from treatment than they have drivers to provide the volunteer service.

The organization said they have about 50 drivers in the "Road to Recovery" database but less than half are active.

For volunteer driver Linda Willett, the experience of helping others has been very rewarding.

"Oh, I enjoy it," Willett said. "You build relationships and you know you are helping people."

She said the process of getting involved is a very easy one.

"In fact, I did all of mine online. You just put all of your information in there and they'll get back with you. And they told me they would do a background check on me and it took a couple of weeks to get approved. It doesn't take much out of your day time wise. If it's radiation, it's like a 30-minute wait, if it's chemo, its usually about three hours, and I would just drop them off and go do chores and run errands and then go back to pick them up. It's just a small segment of my free time."

Laura Kuizin, with the American Cancer Society, said volunteering can be set up by locality.

"We have broken down the system where they can either identify specific counties like Wake County or identify by specific zip codes in that county," said Kuizin.

Alexia Rheinhardt is a Road to Recovery user and said the experience was much more than a ride to the hospital for transport.

"You build a nice relationship, especially if they are a more than a one-time driver because it's a good half an hour from where my house is to the hospital," said Rheinhardt.

Those interested in becoming a volunteer you can go to the ACS website's "get involved" page.

"There is a lot of good people out there, there really is," said Rheinhardt. "You don't realize it until you needed the help ... so I was very fortunate."
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