News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011
AIKEN, S.C. -- Chances are most of us know someone who has battled or is battling cancer. A once popular Aiken County program hopes to be back on the road soon, making the cancer fight a little easier.
Around the country, the American Cancer Society's road to recovery uses volunteers to take patients to and from treatments.
It has been years since this program ran, and it's now back because it's needed more than ever.
Looking back on her battle with cancer, Jo Cunningham doesn't know how she would have survived without tremendous support.
"You can't drive, there's just no way you are going to do it by yourself, you have to have support," she said.
And her husband John is a cancer survivor, too. After winning his fight, he helped others through the road to recovery program, taking patients to their appointments even doing dry runs with his wife.
"We would get in the car on Sunday if I had to take someone on Monday and go out and find it so I knew exactly where to go," he said.
John did that for years until the program went away leaving him and his wife wondering why.
"I never quite understood why they thought it was a program that should have been scrapped," Jo said.
Lisa Glass from the American Cancer Society says they never wanted to scrap the program -- there just weren't enough volunteers. She says volunteers are the heartbeat of the program, donating their own time and gas.
"Having cancer is bad enough but then having to worry about how you are going to get back and forth to treatments, that isn't something anyone should have to worry about," Glass said.
Carol Mondschein with the Savannah River Cancer Foundation says the need is there and that patients are exhausted after treatments.
"They have lots of times they have to go on a weekly basis for several months, and some of them don't even a vehicle they can drive, and others don't have a family member or friend that can take them," Mondschein said.
Jo is about to celebrate a year of being cancer free, and she hopes this program once again provides support to people like her during such a tough time.
The American Cancer Society is still looking for more volunteers and hopes to be up and driving within a month.
If you want to get involved, you can call Lisa Glass at (803) 295-3758 for more information. She says the training process is quick and easy.
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