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For cancer patients, getting to treatment appointments can be difficult at times. Thanks to the Canadian Cancer Society’s volunteer driver program – part of our Getting to Treatment program – cancer patients who are unable to drive themselves or arrange rides with a family member, friend or neighbour have one less thing to worry about.
The program is based in Regina and Saskatoon, but drivers also do weekly bus depot pick-ups to drive people coming from rural communities. Over 600 people required this assistance last year, with 250 of them being from rural Saskatchewan.
Maurice Zimmerman of Regina, who is battling colorectal cancer, is among the cancer patients who use the volunteer driver program. “Mainly it’s the convenience of it, not having to worry about driving,” says 75-year-old Maurice, who uses the program to get to and from chemotherapy appointments.
Maurice was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2011, after going to the hospital with a sore back. He’d had a sore back for some time. Following surgery to remove part of his colon, Maurice began using the volunteer driver program.
Our volunteer driver program provides more than rides to treatment – they offer a friendly, supportive environment. It makes it possible for cancer patients to focus on getting better and fighting cancer.
“It means a great deal,” Maurice says about the part the program has played in his cancer journey for over a year. For one, chemotherapy can leave Maurice tired and groggy.
“Some days I’m not in all that good a mind space either,” he says. “Some days the mind’s a little blank, and I’m getting more forgetful.”
Being able to count on the volunteer driver program also saves Maurice money on parking. For the former teacher, the program also offers an opportunity to make connections. “I’ve met some interesting people,” says Maurice, who enjoys talking with the volunteer drivers, finding out their stories.
“It’s an excellent service. I highly recommend it.”
If you are unable to arrange for transportation with a family member, friend or neighbour, we may be able to help.
To reach us, call toll-free 1-855-566-5717. Regina residents call 306-566-5717.
All of the services the Canadian Cancer Society provides for people living with cancer are made possible through generous donations to the Society.
The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.