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Road to Recovery needs volunteers to drive cancer patients

Many cancer patients in Jackson and Josephine County need help getting to their doctor's appointments. You can help those patients by becoming a volunteer driver with Road to Recovery.

Posted: Oct 1, 2019 3:37 AM
Updated: Oct 1, 2019 2:03 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- It is the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many cancer patients in Jackson and Josephine County need help getting to their doctor's appointments. You can help those patients by becoming a volunteer driver with Road to Recovery. The program is part of the American Cancer Society and connects volunteer drivers with cancer patients.

There are a couple of things you need to become volunteer, including a valid driver's license, a car and car insurance. Volunteers will also need to pass a criminal background check. The American Cancer Society also requires you to finish trainings before you start driving patients. 

Volunteering for Road to Recovery is flexible. Drivers can choose what days and times they can volunteer. Drivers can choose to wait for a patient in the lobby of a hospital or volunteers can just choose to drop a patient off. 

You can call this number to volunteer or request a ride: 1-800-227-2345. You can find more information about Road to Recovery here

Volunteering for Road to Recovery

Ellen Gray started to drive cancer patients to their appointments after she retired. She's been volunteering for a month. Gray picks patients up at their house. She gives them a ride to the hospital and so much more, like warm conversation and empathy. 

She is one of 12 volunteer drivers in Jackson and Josephine County. The American Cancer Society said they need more drivers in the area. They're aiming to have 30 volunteer drivers in these two counties. 

"If you have one day a week, a morning even, or an afternoon that you can devote to making a big different in someone's life and getting them to the medical needs that they need to take care of, why not," said Gray. "It makes a huge difference in their life. And it makes you feel good, too."

Volunteers are trained by the American Cancer Society before they start driving patients. 

Needing a ride to the hospital

Susan Matranga knows how important a ride to the hospital can be. She's fighting Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and needed rides to the Asante Cancer Center five days a week for radiation treatment. She just finished her last radiation session last Friday. 

Cancer patients shouldn't be behind the week, according to Matranga. That's because treatments can cause something called "chemo brain." It can make patients feel disoriented, confused or nauseous. To Matranga, these car rides mean more than getting from point A to point B. 

"I've had a lot of good conversations and it's been very therapeutic with some of the drivers," said Matranga. "Sometimes they have cancer or they have someone close to them who has cancer, so talking to them has been very therapeutic. It's important to me to have that contact."

Matranga will figure out if she is cancer-free during the holiday season. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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