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Free ride service for cancer patients continues to grow in Northeast Ohio

Posted at 7:54 PM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 21:05:22-05

CLEVELAND — The American Cancer Society (ACS) Road To Recovery program provides cancer patients with free rides to treatment, and the need is growing in Northeast Ohio.

The program is offered to patients who have no means of transportation, or who are unable to drive themselves to treatment.

The demand for more drivers has been increasing over the past few years, according to ACS Program Manager Torrie Gerrett.

In the Greater Cleveland market in 2017, the Road To Recovery program provided 3,947 rides. Last year, the program provided 4,764 rides. At the end of January this year, the program had already provided over 500 rides, putting it on track to exceed the prior year once again.

“The cancer rate is declining year to year, which is good news because of wonderful treatment. Especially in this area, but we have seen health systems who have referred more to the program," Gerrett said. "It may be because of budget cuts, or it may be because we’ve become a more reliable source in this area.”

Gerrett said many people have no way of getting to treatment, or are simply too ill to drive themselves.

“Even the most supportive family may not have one or two or three people that can take off work every single day for five weeks straight," she said.

Rides are provided through volunteer drivers. Garrett said many of these drivers are cancer survivors themselves.

The request a ride, patients must contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345. Interested volunteers can visit or contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.