Langley Township mayor Jack Froese (left) washes his own bike at the Cancer Drivers car wash fundraiser in Langley. Photo courtesy Pauline Buck

Donors rally to Cancer Drivers

Influx of financial aid ‘perfect timing’ spokesperson says

Donors are stepping up to help the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society (VCDS) cope with a combination of higher gas prices and increased demand.

A car wash fundraiser in Langley raised nearly $3,000 over the Aug. 19 weekend, with a sponsor offering to match as much as $2,000.

That comes after a White Rock car wash in June where two anonymous donors later agreed to match every dollar raised, effectively tripling the $2,300 raised by volunteers.

Both car washes were hosted by the Trotman Auto Group, owners of both Langley Chrysler and White Rock Volkswagen.

READ MORE: Cancer drivers service running low on funds

As well, the society has received a cheque for $15,000 from the Twins Cancer Raising Fund, operated by the Property Twins, Langley’s Jamie Ruscheinski and Chris Ruscheinski.

READ MORE: Langley twins raise $520,000 for cancer research

The donations come at a time when the all-volunteer service is running low on funds, thanks to the rising cost of gas and greater numbers of patients seeking to use the free service.

The society said it was going to run out of operating funds before the year was out, forcing it to dip into its cash reserve.

“Perfect timing,” said society spokesperson George Garrett.

“It (the additional funds) will delay us having to dip into our reserve for at least a couple of months.”

The service provides free transportation for cancer patients to and from appointments in most Lower Mainland communities.

The VCDS pays its drivers 44 cents a kilometre and many donate the money back.

Even so, the average cost per ride in the Langley-Abbotsford area rose to an all-time high in June at $43.07 because patients from that region are driven the longest distances, going to BC cancer clinics in Vancouver, Surrey and Abbotsford.

The number of people requesting rides is projected to increase from 6,000 in 2017 to 8,000 this year.

It costs about $15,000 a month to operate the service, with virtually all of that going to help cover driver costs.

The VCDS operates in both Langleys, 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.

The VCDS was created as an emergency replacement by drivers who used to work in the Volunteer Driver Program, which was cancelled in 2015 after almost a quarter century as a cost-saving measure by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS).

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.

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.

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.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


The Langley event raised about $3,000. Photo courtesy Pauline Buck

Photo courtesy Pauline Buck

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley kids meet ‘Darth Santa’

Stars Wars villain helps raise funds for Langley Christmas Bureau

Otter Co-op’s CEO wins top business award

Jack Nicholson was awarded the Business in Vancouver CEO of the year award on Nov. 15.

Cyclist injured in Langley hit-and-run

Rider was taken to hospital

Phasing plans for Brookswood defeated

Council voted against staggering neighbourhood planning in Brookswood-Fernridge.

Murder victim Jagvir Malhi was not involved in gangs, says IHIT

Investigators say Abbotsford man was ‘associated to those involved’ in conflict

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Mustangs down Totems

Aldergrove senior boys basketball team in pre-season games

Most Read