CARE, COMPASSION CONTINUE FOR CANCER PATIENTS
The Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society (VCDS) temporarily suspended service March 17th on the advice of the BC Cancer Agency. The decision was made over concerns that drivers and patients would have been at risk. Most drivers are age 60 and over. Most patients are elderly. Some have a compromised immune system while under treatment for cancer.
While transportation service is suspended, care for patients continues. Out of deep concern for their welfare dispatchers at VCDS reached out to every patient to say hello and to find out how they were coping in this time of isolation. For many who are living alone dispatchers found that patients needed help with many things such as shopping, picking up prescriptions and getting to a bank. Many turned to family, friends and neighbours for rides to treatment. A few took advantage of taxi vouchers issued by the BC Cancer Agency.
Patients were delighted to have been called by dispatchers. Many had kind comments about volunteer drivers.
One said: “Your service was like a Godsend to me. I have always been impressed with your drivers.”
Another patient said, “I wanted to thank the last driver I had before your service was suspended. The driver came right into the hospital with me and sat by my side while I was waiting for treatment.”
VCDS co-founder and vice president George Garrett commended dispatchers for contacting every patient. He said, “We may not be able to provide patients with transportation for now but they are never far from our hearts.”
About the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society
The Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society is a free service that lessens the burdens of cancer patients in the Lower Mainland. Founded in 2016, and entirely volunteer-run, the Society drives patients who otherwise have no access to private transportation to and from treatment appointments, providing both essential support and peace-of-mind. Volunteers make more than 20,000 trips every year, in addition to supporting more than 20% of the Society’s overall annual budget by generously donating some of their vehicle expenses.
Areas served are North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody), Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Mission.