Cancer drivers needed in Langley area

Charity issues call for volunteers willing to make longer trips into Vancouver

Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society is looking for qualified drivers to transport cancer patients to appointments.

The Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society (VCDS) needs drivers in the Langley area.

“We’ve lost two long-term drivers (in the region), both from cancer, ironically,” society spokesperson George Garrett said.

A third driver had to stop because the society has set 83 as the maximum age volunteers can take passengers.

Garrett said the society is in particular need of people who have enough time to take cancer patients to and from Vancouver.

“We need drivers willing to do the long trips.”

The society has about 100 drivers, who made nearly 6,000 trips last year in Langley, Abbotsford, Surrey, White Rock, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Port Moody, the North Shore, Delta and part of New Westminster (Service to other communities in the Lower Mainland is offered by the Freemason’s Cancer Car Program).

“That’s a lot of driving,” Garrett said.

Demand for the free service is increasing, Garrett noted.

READ MORE: Driven to help: Volunteers get behind wheel to ease journey for cancer patients

The Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society started in January 2016 after the Canadian Cancer Society discontinued free transportation for patients in October 2015 as a cost-saving measure.

The VCDS is a registered charity, with its funding coming from a variety of municipal and charitable sources.

READ MORE: Township considers grant for volunteer cancer drivers

It runs lean, Garrett said, with 92 per cent of the money donated to the society going to cover drivers’ expenses.

Dispatchers work from home, and volunteers drive one to three times a week. Patients call the number, leave information with their address and time of appointment, and they get a call back within 24 hours with info on the driver.

Drivers are reimbursed 41 cents per kilometre. Some choose to donate a portion back.

Anyone interested to visit the website for information on how to apply: volunteercancerdrivers.ca.

Drivers must provide proof of insurance, reference, their ICBC driving record, and pass a criminal record check.

To schedule a ride, once a patient has received their referral and knows the dates and times of upcoming appointments, they, a family member or a caregiver can call the dispatch office at 604-515-5400.

The caller will be greeted by an automated attendant and asked for their name, address, phone number and the date and location of their appointment.

They will be contacted via phone by their designated volunteer driver to introduce him/herself, confirm they appointment, and arrange a pickup time.

It’s a round-trip; the driver will wait at the appointment location and return the patient home immediately afterward.

The society offers free transportation to patients throughout diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care. A caregiver may accompany a patient and most drivers can accommodate walkers and wheelchairs.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Aldergrove Mall site becomes election issue

Letter from developers supporting current Township council sparks flurry of responses

Fort Langley to hold all-candidates meeting

A forum in the village includes Township of Langley school trustee, council, and mayoral candidates.

By-invitation meet-and-greet for Township council candidates draws flak

Organizer rejects complaint it amounted to a slate, calls suggestion a ‘conspiracy theory.’

UPDATED: Underground power fault blacks out part of downtown Langley

Electricity was out for a major commercial area.

Langley rower captures silver at world championships

The women’s eight makes a come-from-behind charge for back to back world championship medals

AFN national chief suggests moving Trans Mountain pipeline route

Perry Bellegarde said many Indigenous communities believe in the need to diversify export markets

Judge weighs Cosby’s sentence after declaring him ‘predator’

Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill made the decision as he weighed the punishment for Cosby

AFN national chief suggests moving Trans Mountain pipeline route

Perry Bellegarde said many Indigenous communities believe in the need to diversify export markets

U.S. worker charged after video shows him spitting on customer’s pizza

Jaylon Kerley of Detroit is charged with a felony count of food law violations

Andrew Weaver congratulates New Brunswick on electing first Green caucus

Election win means there are now three provincial Green Party caucuses in Canada

Around the BCHL: Merritt’s Matthew Kopperud nets Sun Devil scholarship

Around the BCHL is a look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

Father, 9-year-old son killed in crash along B.C. highway

RCMP say family of five was hit head-on by a pickup truck north of Williams Lake

5 to start your day

Fraser Health buys two MRI clinics, South Surrey boy helps kids in need and more

Vancouver, Delta police won’t use new roadside saliva test to detect high drivers

The Dräger DrugTest 5000 is designed to find THC, the high-inducing part of marijuana

Most Read