Road to recovery brings healing and unexpected friendships

At the age of 57, Russell found himself in his doctor’s office receiving the devastating news many before him have received: he had cancer. But fortunately for him, it was caught early in Stage 1, and he had an excellent chance for survival. It’d be tough – radiation treatments every day for 7 weeks – but he could get through it. Even though this was very hopeful news, given his circumstance, it was still a lot of information to take in – numbers, forms, procedures. He was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to begin.

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To help him manage it all, Russell’s social worker referred him to the American Cancer Society (ACS), a United Way-supported agency. ACS was able to send him a personal health manager kit to help keep track of his appointments, medication, test results, insurance, bills and various details associated with his treatment.

While the kit was extremely helpful, Russell still had one major concern – transportation. Driving an older, unreliable car, Russell couldn’t depend on his car to get him to the grocery store, much less to and from the VA hospital every day. Having his information organized was great; but it seemed meaningless if he couldn’t even make it to his appointments.

When the ACS cancer specialist called to check up on Russell, he mentioned his struggle. She took action and enrolled him in ACS’s transportation program, Road to Recovery. Road to Recovery volunteers were able to reliably transport Russell to and from all 58 of his treatment appointments. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Russell said. “It made me feel confident to know I had rides and help. And I really enjoyed getting to know some of the drivers.”

Because of ACS, United Way and you, Russell and others like him are able to receive the services, resources and support they need to get through a critical time. And sometimes, like Russell, they can make some new friends along their path to healing.

Note: United Way works to improve the lives of all Central Indiana residents by focusing our work in four key areas – Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs. American Cancer Society – Lakeshore Division – Central Indiana is a United Way-funded agency addressing one or more of these priorities through saving lives and creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people get well and stay well, finding cures and fighting back.