The Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels of Hope is in desperate need of volunteers for Okotoks and High River.
The Wheels of Hope program provides transport to and from the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, all thanks to volunteers.
They’ve recently had to reduce or deny service in Okotoks and High River due to a lack of volunteer drivers in Okotoks and High River.
Recruitment Coordinator Mark Kahan says transportation can be a huge obstacle for those undergoing treatment.
“We’ve found that if someone can’t find transportation, then they don’t go. That’s just heartbreaking to me, that the only thing preventing them from treatment is that they just need a ride.”
A cancer survivor himself, Kahan has firsthand experience with how hard it can be just to reach appointments for treatment.
“When I was eight years old, I went through chemotherapy and radiation, and I remember my dad having to take time off work. They allowed him the time off, but it was a bit of a challenge, he had to get my brothers to drive sometimes. A cancer diagnosis doesn’t affect one person, it can affect their whole family.”
His first involvement with the Canadian Cancer Society started when he volunteered as a Wheels of Hope Driver.
“My experience being a volunteer driver was very humbling to me. I thought I was going to deal with really sad, depressed people,and I couldn’t be more wrong. The people lifted my spirits up and I hear that all the time with our volunteer drivers… Magic really does happen on the drives there and home, the conversations, the kindness, the compassion.”
He recalls a particular story from a Wheels of Hope Driver.
“One of our clients said to me about how her volunteer driver was just so kind and so sweet. Apparently, they were chit-chatting in the vehicle on the way there and she was saying how much she loved Elvis. He started playing some Elvis music for her and she started singing all the way to her treatment. I’m not saying everyone is going to be happy and singing, but it’s the gratitude and compassion of these volunteers. These small acts of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life.”
They’re in need of volunteers available on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., with flexibility for drivers who are only available for even a few days a week.
Vehicles must be smoke-free and reliable, and drivers must have a clean record and be double-vaccinated for COVID-19.
Mileage reimbursements are provided.
Those interested can find more information on the Canadian Cancer Society website, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 1-888-939-3333.
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