American Cancer Society looks for more volunteers for "Road to Recovery" program

MILWAUKEE -- Struggling to find transportation to treatment is something no cancer patient should have to deal with. But it's a reality for some in the Milwaukee area.

It's a routine Vita Hanson has followed for two years.

"It is not just a ride, it is also the connection you're making with someone," said Hanson, volunteer driver and cancer survivor.

Hanson volunteers as a driver for the American Cancer Society since beating Stage 4 colorectal cancer. It is done through the Road to Recovery program. Volunteers drive patients to and from treatment-related appointments.

[highlights Many have a personal connection to the disease.

"I did want to give back to other cancer patients because when you first get that diagnosis, it is devastating. You're not sure what to make of it," said Hanson.

Road to Recovery offers nearly 2,000 rides to patients a year in the Milwaukee area. But lately, the need has increased so much, it's become tough to keep up.

"People are being diagnosed with cancer every day," said Heather Byron with the American Cancer Society.

"Unfortunately we are having to turn patients away," said Byron.

Road To Recovery

The American Cancer Society has about 40 volunteer drivers between Waukesha and Milwaukee Counties -- but they say they could use double that.

Hanson hopes more people will come forward, offering support.

"Being able to provide rides and be a example of someone who has survived those procedures and treatments," said Hanson.

And hope could help conquer the disease.

"Just as it were for me when I would meet people early on who were five or 10-year survivors," said Hanson.

Volunteers with the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery program can put in as much or as little time as they want.