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Local Volunteers Donate Time to Help Area Cancer Patients Meet Transportation Needs to Cancer Treatments and Home Again

PHILADELPHIA (May 10, 2001) -- Arlene and Bernard McBride have been volunteering for the "Road to Recovery" program for the past six years. Road to Recovery is an American Cancer Society (ACS) sponsored volunteer program providing ground transportation for cancer patients to their treatments and home again. The program benefits patients at Fox Chase Cancer Center and other area hospitals.

After Mr. McBride retired, the couple started looking for volunteer opportunities where they could donate their time. They responded to an ad in the paper for "Road to Recovery" six years ago, and have been doing it ever since.

"We are so thankful of how good life has been to us. We wanted to give something back to the community to show our appreciation," said Mr. McBride.

Ironically, after getting involved in the program, cancer struck both the McBrides. Arlene was diagnosed with uterine cancer and Bernard was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years later. Arlene said surviving cancer was just one more reason to be thankful and give back to the community.

"I would encourage anyone with extra time to volunteer. Anyone who is retired and can donate any amount of time should really consider volunteering for Road to Recovery. The patients are truly appreciative, and their appreciation makes the work all the more meaningful. And it is very rewarding to know that however small it seems-- we are really making a difference in people's lives," said Mrs. McBride.

The Road to Recovery program is designed to assist patients who have no car, may be too ill to drive, or where other local resources are unavailable. Transportation is provided according to the needs and available resources in the community. The patient and/or family should contact the local American Cancer Society office for detailed information.

The southeastern Pennsylvania region of the Road to Recovery program operates in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Volunteers from these counties have been donating their time to help their neighbors battling cancer for twenty years now. 313 drivers made 5,355 rides in 2000.

"The increased participation over the years is encouraging, but there is always a need for more drivers. We are working to meet different schedules and we want to be able to provide rides for anyone who needs them," says Ellen Herrmann, housing and transportation coordinator in the department of social work services at Fox Chase.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver, contact the American Cancer Society office in Philadelphia at 215-985-5330. An application will be sent to you. The ACS office provides a simple training program and arranges for volunteers to meet with each other throughout the year. For more information contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1974, conducts basic and clinical research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit the Center's web site at

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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