Would you drive a mile to save a life? An estimated 53,260 New Jerseyans will learn they have cancer this year, and getting to their scheduled treatment will be their greatest concern. Every day, thousands of Jersey Shore cancer patients need a ride to treatment, but some may not have a way to get there.
For the last six years, Meg Wilkens has helped so many of her neighbors during the toughest times of their lives. She drives Monmouth County residents to their cancer treatments through the American Cancer Society’s volunteer Road To Recovery program, which provides free transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.
“Transportation shouldn’t be a roadblock to cancer treatment,” Wilkens said. “Even with help from family and friends, sometimes patients have trouble getting every ride they need. I am a second-generation Road To Recovery driver, my father did it when I was growing up. I knew when I retired I wanted to give back and help people.”
For those who cannot drive themselves or have no other means of getting to their treatment, Road To Recovery volunteers donate their spare time and the use of their cars to give cancer patients a much-needed lift. Patients can then receive the life-saving treatments they need.
“When you drive, you learn about people’s hopes and fears,” Wilkens said. “None of them are quitters; they all want to beat cancer. I have made some lifelong friends and have enjoyed every ride.”
The American Cancer Society is always looking for volunteers, if you have a current, valid driver’s license, and own or have regular access to a safe, reliable vehicle, then you’re already on the road to volunteering. For more information, call the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.