This is National Volunteer Appreciation Week and at the Foundation we are fortunate to have many wonderful souls who donate their valuable time to help us help people affected by cancer, whether it is in the office, at an event, or any one of a multitude of volunteer opportunities.
One way that the people of Austin can make a difference in the cancer community is through our LIVESTRONG Cancer Transportation Program. This program helps people get to and from important cancer related appointments—treatment, post-op, follow-up care and more. The success of this program depends on the number of volunteers and rides we are able to offer those in need, and we are always looking for more volunteers to take part in the program. Please go online to learn how to volunteer your time as a driver or to sign up for services.
I recently rode along with a LIVESTRONG Cancer Transportation volunteer and patient to see firsthand the importance of the service and why an individual would donate their time to the program. Ronald Sellers, a retired Air Force veteran, and his wife, a breast cancer survivor, were watching the local news one day when a particular story caught their attention. The Foundation had just announced our new LIVESTRONG Cancer Transportation Program services for the Travis County area. Ron’s wife commented on how much she would have appreciated a program like that when she was in treatment. It was all Ron needed for him to pick up the phone and volunteer.
Ron was paired with Mike Chavez, a two-time cancer survivor in the middle of treatment for kidney cancer with metastases to brain and lungs. Mike lives just a mile away from Ron with his daughter, who serves as his caregiver, and his grandsons. The transportation program has helped his daughter immensely as she works two jobs and was unable to leave work to drive Mike to treatment on the other side of town.
The two men talk about cars, a passion of Ron’s, during their 20-minute drive north. While not required of volunteers, Ron sits in the waiting room during Mike’s treatment and they leave the clinic minutes later. It all seems so simple—offering a ride to someone in need—and it has meant the world to Mike.
The LIVESTRONG Cancer Transportation Program has helped this Austinite and his family through a tough time. And we could not provide this service without heroes like Ron.
We invite you to join our band of heroes. Learn how to volunteer with the LIVESTRONG Cancer Transportation Program today.