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Drivers needed for American Cancer Society's 'Road to Recovery'

WCSH-TV Portland, ME logo WCSH-TV Portland, ME 4/1/2019 Jackie Mundry
a close up of a man driving a car: Road to Recovery © NEWS CENTER Maine Road to Recovery

Fighting cancer comes with so many challenges and obstacles. Some, are pretty obvious. Others, you might never have considered.

Like driving to and from appointments.

Lynne Carlisle has been driving for the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery program for 10 years. 

Twelve years ago, she and her husband were both being treated for cancer at the same time.

She retired from her job as a school teacher to spend time with her husband. After he died, Lynne wasn't ready to stay home and do nothing.

"Saw some literature on Road to Recovery and decided since we'd been helped by friends when we were in need, that's where I wanted to place my focus," she said.

"They're heroes," Lonya Julin says. Julin is currently being treated in Brewer and uses the Road to Recovery rides.

The number of those heroes has dropped in the last year in her state. 

In 2018 there were 133 volunteer drivers in the state. Now, there are just 78.

Making that drop even more problematic, the number of cancer patients needing rides is going up.

In the first two months of 2018 Road to Recovery provided for 16 patients. In the first two months of this year, 29 patients got rides.

"There's almost always a need, most of the drivers we have, have been driving I'd say five years or more so they tend to stick with it once we get them,"

Many patients have their own cars, but getting they have trouble safely getting to and from appointments.

"It's very specific, for me right now after radiation I'm tired and loopy and definitely not safe to drive but in the mornings I'm okay before radiation," Julin said.

Volunteer drivers must have a valid driver's license, a safe vehicle, good driving record, and proof of insurance. Drivers are needed nationwide. 

For more information visit or call 1-800-227-2345.


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