The American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers in Butler County for the Road to Recovery Program, which is a program that has volunteers drive cancer patients to and from their treatments and doctor’s appointments.
“It could be any appointment related to cancer or a follow up appointment, so really anything cancer related,” said Emily Oehler, health promotion coordinator for the American Cancer Society in Butler County. “It’s all volunteer; there are a number of cancer patients that don’t have a car to get to their treatment, so they rely on the Road to Recovery volunteers.”
Oehler said Hamilton County has been very successful with volunteers but Butler County is trying to get the program restarted.
“I use it for patients who were having economic problems or maybe they needed some access to a car or usually rely on friends or family, but there’s a day or so when that’s just not possible,” said Dr. Ed Crane, oncologist and board president of the American Cancer Society for Butler County.
Oehler said anyone is eligible to volunteer. Volunteers must have insurance and a vehicle that is good condition. They are also required to get a background check and go through a training session by the American Cancer Society.
“If people can’t volunteer their time, or don’t have the opportunity, buying a gas card and donating that is helpful so these volunteers can spend less on gas,” Crane said.
Some Miami University students agree the program is a useful one.
“This is obviously really helpful and provides good support to cancer patients,” junior Caroline Gallegos said. “One of my friend’s moms died of cancer when we were 10 or 11 and having a program like this would have been really helpful for her and her family.”
Crane said many variables get in the way of patients receiving treatment.
“The more we can knock down those hurdles and let the patients just focus on getting well and getting through the treatment, the better off everyone will be,” Crane said.