Cancer Drivers Society gets green light to resume services for patients
A vital service that helps Lower Mainland cancer patients get to their appointments is planning to resume after being forced to shut down because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society takes patients to chemotherapy or radiation appoints, but the operation was shut down in mid-March over COVID-19.
“Because our drivers are in their 60s and beyond, they were at risk to themselves and to patients, most of whom are elderly,” George Garrett, one of the organization’s founders, told reporters.
The organization was told it can resume services, but only if they follow strict protocols for both drivers and patients, including having masks for both the patient and the driver, and hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.
The patient also must ride in the back seat of the car.
“If the patient wants to bring someone along, like a family member, it can only be one member,” Garrett explained.
“We can no longer carpool. We can’t take two patients together.”
Service will resume on June 22 and Garrett says they expect about 150 drivers to return.
The organization says it’s found enough masks, wipes and sanitizer to operate, but is asking for cash donations to help with other costs, like gas.