Every day, thousands of cancer patients need a ride to and from treatments.

For many diagnosed with cancer in the La Crosse area, getting to treatments can be the biggest roadblock.

Family and friends may help, but during the course of several months or even years, they may not always have the time or resources to provide every ride. A successful transportation assistance program can be a tremendous, potentially life-saving asset to the community. That is why volunteering for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program is so important.

For those who cannot drive themselves or have no other means of getting to cancer-related medical appointments, volunteers donate their time to give patients a much-needed ride.

The volunteer drivers can provide as many rides as they want. All drivers must have: a valid driver’s license; a good driving record; access to a safe and reliable car; regular desktop, laptop or tablet computer access; and proof of car insurance.

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As a cancer survivor, I understand that when cancer hits, it hits from all sides, and lacking transportation to treatments should not be another difficulty.

As a volunteer driver, you can provide patients a much-needed ride, and you may be surprised by the pick-me-up you get in return.

If you are interested in the Road to Recovery Program, you can contact the local American Cancer Society office, visit cancer.org/drive or call 1-800-227-2345.

Mariah Forster Olson, La Crosse

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Mariah Forster Olson is a volunteer and state leadership board member for the American Cancer Society