I first heard about the ACS Road to Recovery program at an annual cancer conference in Honolulu two years ago. I am retired and have lots of free time and a nice car. I remember how tough my radiation treatments were in 1988. I felt compelled to offer to drive because I love to help individuals in need. What better way than to drive them to a doctor or treatment appointment they otherwise might not make. As you can imagine cancer is no fun. Add limited financial resources and it becomes much more of a nightmare.
I purposely chose patients who live far away (Waipahu, Kapolei, Kailua, Kaneohe) because of the distance they have to travel. I drive a Mercedes E350, so it’s a very comfortable ride for patients.
The most rewarding thing about driving is the connection that is made with the patient. Some more than others. One trip to Waipahu we were in a huge downpour and traffic was backed up. It took us over two hours to get her home. We laughed a lot with each other and shared our life’s joys and challenges. Another trip the patient found out they had cancer for the fourth time. They have a wonderful spirit and we laughed and cried with each other all the way home to Ewa Beach. I gave them a hug as they got out of the car. I have a supply of Happy Pills that I give out to some patients. It’s a wonderful gift for them to remember to laugh. It is very rewarding to hear their joy and laughter.
I feel blessed and honored to bring a small amount of relief during a challenging time. ~ Jesse Jones