Wheels of Hope in need of volunteer drivers in Guelph
For more than 35 years, Wheels of Hope in Guelph has been a valuable service for cancer patients.
Wheels of Hope in Guelph is looking for volunteers to drive cancer patients to and from their appointments.
Mark Kahan started as a volunteer for the initiative and is a cancer survivor as well.
Now the recruitment coordinator, Kahan said this is a full circle moment.
“We can’t do without the support of volunteer drivers, but we know if someone can’t find a ride to their treatment, they don’t go,” Kahan said.
The program is through the Canadian Cancer Society and has been in the Royal City since 1984.
He added the drivers are literally making a difference in someone’s life, but the program cannot be run without volunteers.
Kahan said the opportunity often ends up creating a special bond between the driver and the patient.
“Our volunteers, I’ve spoken so much to them over the years, and they tell me that they get a lot more out of this program they feel than the people they’re transporting. The appreciation sure is felt,” he said.
“A lady loves Elvis and she was talking to our volunteer driver one morning and the volunteer driver had an Elvis station on satellite radio, and he put Elvis on and she was singing along with Elvis all the way to her treatment.”
The COVID-19 pandemic made things challenging for the program, and like many organizations, he said they lost volunteers.
“Right now, we have a 2021 Chevy Traverse sitting there that’s not being used and that’s only because we lost a lot of volunteers, as other charities lost a lot of volunteers to that as well,” he said.
Kahan said they have only four volunteers right now and are looking for 15 people.
He said the program has a flexible schedule and the driving is mostly done in Guelph, although some appointments are in Kitchener or Hamilton.
Drivers can take their own car or the service vehicle, but they will be reimbursed.
Kahan said it is an ongoing initiative and there is no deadline to apply.
For those interested in filling out an application, you can go to the Canadian Cancer Society’s website.