October 22, 2014

American Cancer Society to offer new program

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ARENAC COUNTY — A free program from the American Cancer Society to help transport cancer patients to medical appointments is being introduced to Arenac County.

The program, titled Road to Recovery, uses volunteers who drive patients to wherever there appointment is located.

Karen Weishuhn, Arenac County Road to Recovery Coordinator said that the Road to Recovery program was the only free program not previously offered by the ACS in Arenac County.

“(Road to Recovery) was started because it has become a need in this area,” she said. “There is a large population of people in the area who have been affected by cancer.”

Weishuhn said that due to the struggling economy, some people may not be able to afford to drive to their appointments.

“The Relay For Life group decided we needed to get this program up and running,” she said.

Angela Putnam, Community Program Representative for the Great Lakes Division of the ACS said, Road to Recovery has been successful in Bay and Saginaw counties.

“We help about 200 to 300 people, per county, each year,” she said.

Putnam said that 10 to 20 percent of people will not receive the treatment they need without a ride to their appointment.

“We get people a ride they would not normally get without the help of volunteers,” she said.

Putnam said that currently Arenac County has 17 volunteers signed up and ready to help out.

She said that each driver goes through two hours of training followed by a background check.

“They fill out an application, then we check driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers and proof of insurance,” Putnam said.

Weishuhn said she does not want to hear people say, “I can’t get to treatment.”

She added that Road to Recovery is a way that money raised by the Arenac County Relay For Life comes back to the community.

“People ask where their money goes, and this is one way it comes back,” she said.

To arrange for for transportation or to learn about other services the ACS has, Putnam said those interested can call 800-227-2345 for more information.

“The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” she said.

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