Monday, October 1, 2012
Driving Mr. Daisy
This morning I did another of my drives for the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery program. As is customarily the case, I was given the patient's name, address, and phone number, along with the details of his appointment time and place. I was to pick him up this morning around 9:45 and bring him to an appointment at a hospital in Philadelphia. After calling to confirm the time for pickup, I was on my way.
Like most of the patients I've driven, he was particularly friendly and talkative, as well as being incredibly appreciative of me and the American Cancer Society. He wasn't hesitant to tell me about his cancer and that this was the 25th of his 27 visits for radiation treatment. I learned about how supportive his wife and 4 grown children have been and that I was the 5th or 6th volunteer driver he'd had, providing much needed relief for his daughter who has driven him to all the other appointments. I learned all about his career before he retired, about all 4 of his children - where they live and their occupations, and about his 7 grandchildren. And of course we talked about the Eagles!
Not surprisingly, when we got to Philadelphia, he knew all the routines from the valet parking at the hospital to where people can get coffee in the waiting room. I didn't have to wait long before he was done and we were on our way home.
This was about my 8th or 9th ride since I started in the spring, and it continues to be one of my favorite acts. I enjoy meeting new people, and I can undoubtedly, and very directly, see the impact this program has on people's lives. Without volunteers, though, the program simply wouldn't exist. It's definitely a great way to make a difference, as well as being a great reminder of the good fortune I have to be healthy!