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Picture Credit: Orrie Babiuk.  Pictured from left to right, George McAffer, Larry Coleman and, George Garrett

The Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society held its 4th Annual Meeting Saturday, March 7th at the Cloverdale Legion.

The meeting was attended by 70 volunteer drivers, dispatchers and board members. President Bob Smith welcomed members with a message of gratitude for the many hours of volunteer time and service they provide along with generous financial support.

Bob also cautioned drivers about the Covid-19 virus and the essential behaviour of hand washing and/or use of sanitizers both entering and leaving medical treatment centres. He urged all members to ensure they have had their flu shot and pneumonia vaccination as further protection from the illness.

An important discussion concerning patient relationships was held. Members were reminded to serve with compassion and support but only as it relates to their transportation to and from treatment. VCDS policy requires drivers to refrain from going into a patient’s home and from offering any advice which can lead to a compromised situation beyond the VCDS mandate. Clients in need should be referred to their caregivers who have the skills to arrange for appropriate support.

Bob also advised that 2020 will see changes to standardize Ridescheduler use across the VCDS system.

Members were shown our new video. Produced by driver/videographer Jim Morrison, the video is titled: “It’s The Right Thing To Do.”  Those were the exact words used by the long-time driver and board member Larry Coleman on Global TV when he was asked why he drives cancer patients. The video tells the story of VCDS from its inception in 2016 to present, featuring interviews with drivers, a dispatcher and patients. The video will soon be on our website and YouTube and will be shown in presentations to potential donors. To watch the video click on the image below. Remember to subscribe, like and comment! 

Immediately after the 5-minute video was shown Larry Coleman was presented with an Award of Excellence for his incredible service to cancer patients. Larry drives patients every weekday.

Board member Dean Callaghan told the meeting about a new pediatric service now being provided by VCDS. We now have a group of drivers trained in the proper installation of child car seats. It means we can now offer transportation to all children. Previously we could only serve children 9 years of age and older. Dean also showed slides and videos about advances in cancer treatment including the story of a mother whose cancer is being successfully treated with diabetes medication. It is the result of a special program at the BC Cancer Agency using DNA in cancer diagnosis.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Cloverdale Legion again hosted our AGM. Their warm support included coffee and muffins on arrival plus soup and sandwiches for lunch...all without charge. As further recognition of the work of VCDS volunteers, the ladies presented us with a donation of $1,000.

We are truly grateful.



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