From Chauffeur To Friend: American Cancer Society’s Driver Program Helps Sufferers In More Ways Than One

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For many cancer patients, getting to and from treatment is one of their toughest challenges.

So the American Cancer Society is looking for volunteer drivers in the Baltimore area.

On a cold morning in Perry Hall, Genevive Isbell is on her way to Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment.

“My daughter has a home day care business and her husband works and I can’t always depend on friends,” she says. “So this really is a good thing.”

“This” is the Road To Recovery program. Isbell will make it to her appointment thanks to Paula Silverman, a volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society who lost both of her parents to cancer.

“What’s so neat is you can do it when your schedule allows, so if you can give one hour of your time a month that hour is needed,” Silverman says. “If you are in the position where you can give 10 hours of volunteer time a month, they’ll use it.”

Road To Recovery, in fact, needs more drivers in the Baltimore area.

“I participate because five years ago I lost my father and mother and father-in-law all within a year-and-a-half to cancer… I’ve been in that caregiver’s shoes where you needed to get your loved one to treatment and you couldn’t. I said ‘What can I do?’ It’s so easy, their training is easy.”

And Isbell is grateful for Silverman’s sacrifice.

“It’s sometimes very frustrating because I’m going through chemo every day and to have to depend on someone to take me back and forth, it’s a very hard situation,” Isbell says. “I’m just so thankful for Paula and you guys. You really helped me out a lot and touched my heart.”

Genevive and Paula have developed a bond on the road. Once patient and driver, they are now friends.

Genevive Isbell is preparing for a bone marrow transplant. Her daughter is her donor.

If you’d like to volunteer as a driver, just click here: www.cancer.org/drive.

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