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In the spirit of giving

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TOPSHAM Elwin Gay of Summerville, Massachusetts began driving cancer patients to treatment appointments in 1949. He worked nights and drove during the day. He drove 33 years and put over 100,000 miles on his car saving lives.

The American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery program became a national program in 1983 and is celebrating its 30th birthday in 2013. Volunteer drivers have provided thousands of cancer patients with life-saving rides to their treatment appointments. Many need daily or weekly treatment, often over the course of several months, and they may be too tired or weak to drive themselves. Some treatments will not allow cancer patients to operate machinery, including a motor vehicle. Other patients do not have family members they can rely on for support or their family may simply not be able to take time away from work.

'Cancer patients often miss or delay treatments because they do not have access to reliable transportation,' said Elisa Madore, community executive for the American Cancer Society. 'Not only do patients benefit from our Road to Recovery program, but the volunteers do also. They often comment on the great feelings they get from knowing they're literally giving someone a ride that is helping to save a life.'

This holiday season, and all year long, if you have a car and few hours to spare, you can make a difference in the life of a cancer patient as a Road to Recovery driver. The American Cancer Society is now recruiting volunteers throughout Maine to ensure that all cancer patients have transportation to and from their treatments. Whether you are available once a month or once a week, even for an hour, you can be a Road to Recovery volunteer. Interested volunteers are asked to attend an information session on Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln.

For more information about the program or to register for a training session, contact Elisa Madore at (207) 532-4807 or by email to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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