If you are undergoing treatment for mesothelioma, it has probably become necessary for you to depend on others to help with a variety of things. You may need assistance around your home or help with other everyday tasks. Many cancer patients require transportation to and from doctors’ appointments and treatments, especially when they’re feeling too sick or weak to drive or take public transportation.
In many areas of the country, cancer patients currently undergoing treatment for their disease – especially those who don’t have a friend or loved one to call upon – may have a number of options for locating a ride to their mesothelioma treatment location.
Road to Recovery
The American Cancer Society, one of the best places to turn to learn about resources for mesothelioma cancer patients, offers a transport program known as Road to Recovery. In hundreds of locations across the country, Road to Recovery provides transportation to and from treatment facilities for those with no other options. The program is staffed by dedicated volunteers who either coordinate rides or do the driving themselves in their own cars. It’s one of the most far reaching cancer transport networks in the country and it helps thousands get to their appointments each and every day, usually free of charge.
To find a Road to Recovery program in your area, call 800-227-2345 or go to www.cancer.org and type in your zip code to find resources in your area.
In many communities, there are one or more transportation services run by the city, county, or state that can assist in getting cancer patients back and forth to a hospital or treatment center when needed. The American Cancer Society suggests that patients look in the Yellow Pages or on the internet for local paratransit services, Dial-a-Ride, Access Services, or other similar programs. If you can’t find anything listed locally, check with your State Department of Transportation for more information and they may be able to direct you to someone who can help. In less populated areas, look for Rural Transportation Assistance Programs run by the state as well.
As always, it’s a good idea to check with your hospital social worker to determine what’s available in your area. They can often provide specific information and even set up rides for you. Many will be provided without cost though some may involve a nominal fee. In some cases, hospitals – especially major mesothelioma clinics – may have their own transportation programs that assist patients undergoing treatment in getting to the hospital for treatments or for doctor appointments.
In addition, local churches, synagogues, senior centers, and other charitable organizations may have volunteers who assist in this sort of endeavor. Don’t hesitate to call a local house of worship or your Area Agency on Aging for information on transport services for cancer patients.
In instances where the cancer patient must travel great distances to their treatment facility, a wonderful network known as Angel Flight can provide air transportation to fit those needs. Flights must be within 1,000 miles of the patient’s home and the patient must demonstrate a financial need for assistance. Planes are staffed by volunteer pilots who donate their time and their planes for this vital transportation service. Social workers, patients, or family members can make a request for help by calling 1-800-296-3797. (Several conditions must be met in order to qualify.)