Myra Ford of Cloverdale is a former user of the Cancer Drivers' service

Cancer Drivers want to stay on the road

Volunteers who help cancer patients are back driving

A new service that drives cancer patients to their appointments is looking for funding so it can keep offering its service.

The Volunteer Cancer Driver Society was formed to replace a similar service discontinued by the Canadian Cancer Society.

Since its founding earlier this year, the society has covered 18,500 kilometres and 787 volunteer hours.

That’s meant costs of $5,938 in reimbursing the volunteer drivers for mileage – after a quarter of the costs were donated back to the society by volunteers.

Garrett and the other organizers of the society are looking for sponsors and other sources of funds to keep the project stable.

In the meantime, they will keep providing locals with rides.

Janet Forsythe is one of the Langley residents who has come to rely on the driving service.

Last August Forsythe, a Murrayville resident, had three nodules removed from her lungs. Now she’s waiting to hear when she’s scheduled for chemotherapy.

Her drives out to Abbotsford’s cancer clinic were disrupted in late January this year when someone stole her 1998 van from her home’s driveway.

The police found the vehicle in Surrey the next day.

“The ignition, I guess, had been toyed with. They had used bear spray to cover their tracks,” Forsythe said.

The bear spray, apparently used to cover up fingerprints, caused the damaged van to be listed as a write off.

Forsythe can’t afford a new car now, and is sharing her son’s car part of the time. But that can’t reliably get her to her doctor’s appointment’s in Abbotsford if he needs to get to work.

The doctor’s office told her about the newly re-started Cancer Drivers Society, and she called them.

“I much appreciate it,” she said.

The ride was useful, but she also had a nice chat with her most recent volunteer driver.

“I’m not used to having the door opened for me,” she said.

More information about the society can be found at www.volunteercancerdrivers.ca.

 

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