HELPING THOSE WITH CANCER GET TO TREATMENT

January 24, 2019

HELPING THOSE WITH CANCER GET TO TREATMENT

Road to Recovery Transportation Program Provides Free Rides

APPLETON, Wis. – Barbara Beduhn is going through chemotherapy for her cancer diagnosis. For many, including Beduhn, getting to and from treatment can take skilled coordination.

At times, Beduhn used local cabs and other ride services to get to her appointments, but the rides were costly and the experience wasn’t always pleasant.

Some of those people took off before you were settled in the car,” she said.

Now, Beduhn uses a program in the Fox Valley that is making the ride to treatment easier. The American Cancer Society offers a free transportation program called, Road to Recovery. People like Beduhn call the American Cancer Society (ACS), are placed on the schedule, and get picked up by a Road to Recovery volunteer for treatment. 

Beduhn explained Road to Recovery drivers are caring and compassionate.

“The driver always makes sure I have my seatbelt on. They’ll come into ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton and wait for me if my treatment runs late,” said Beduhn. “They are outgoing, courteous and offer me support every time.”

Lisa Wright, RN, BSN, OCN, a cancer navigator at ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center understands how important the ride program is to the people they treat.

“The Road to Recovery transportation program is a great help to many of our patients,” said Wright. “This free ride program helps those who no longer drive or don’t feel well enough after treatment to drive themselves.”

Mary Cloven has been a Road to Recovery driver for seven years.

“It’s a way for me to help others,” said Cloven. “I’m not medically trained and I can't donate a lot monetarily, but I can give patients a ride. It’s a perfect fit for me. I definitely feel like I’m helping people.”

Cloven said she wishes more people knew about the program and used it. Kim Kinner, senior manager for hospital systems for the American Cancer Society, agrees. Kinner said a successful transportation program can be lifesaving for patients.

“We want to make more patients aware of the program and also want to recruit more drivers,” said Kinner. “The biggest reason the ACS is committed to this program is because we know that even the best treatment plan isn’t going to help if the patient can’t get to their appointments.”

Kinner also added that volunteer drivers usually have a personal connection to cancer.

“We work with an amazing group of volunteers,” she said. “Oftentimes our Road to Recovery volunteers work with us because they are a cancer survivor themselves and want to give back or they were a caregiver and had a loved one who used the service.”

Once accepted as a volunteer, drivers may choose when and where they are willing to drive. Kinner explained that volunteer drivers use an online scheduling program to choose which rides they’ll provide. It is up to the volunteer how much time they donate and how far they wish to drive

Qualifications for Road to Recovery volunteers:

  • Background check
  • Good driving record
  • Current, valid driver’s license
  • Proof of adequate automobile insurance (The ACS also provides umbrella liability protection)
  • Complete the American Cancer Society training course
  • Regular access to a computer, laptop or tablet for scheduling purposes
  • Availability to drive on Monday through Saturday, at their convenience

Those interested in becoming a Road to Recovery driver should visit, www.cancer.org/roadtorecovery and complete the volunteer sign-up form. You can also call 800.227.2345 to speak with an American Cancer Society staff member.

Patients who are undergoing treatment and interested in using the program can coordinate their initial participation through their cancer navigator at ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center or by calling the American Cancer Society at 800.227.2345 to request a ride. Patients are encouraged to call several days in advance of their appointment to schedule a ride.

Beduhn is very grateful that the program exists.

“Having this program takes away a lot of worry for me; I know that someone will be there to get me to my appointment on time. It’s a wonderful program.”

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.