Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery
The American Cancer Society's program "Road to Recovery" pairs cancer patients with volunteer drivers to get them between to their hospital for treatment and back home. (WTHR photo)
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Annie Smith worked for 33 years and never expected her retirement would have such a busy schedule.

She's going to Eskenazi three times a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - for cancer treatment. A Lymphoma first in her blood has spread to her skin.

"The cancer itself make the skin red then the PUV ultraviolet light makes the skin red also," Smith said.

Annie doesn't have a car but must avoid the sun so the bus stop isn't an option and providing rides to treatment was becoming a hardship for her children. That's why she is so grateful for Bob Sexton and his Bentley.

Sexton is a retired oral surgeon from the west side and estimates so far he's provided about 50 free door-to-door rides to patients like Annie as part of the American Cancer Society's "Road to Recovery" program.

"All the patients go, 'I've never ridden in a Bentley before'," Sexton said. "I hadn't either before I bought it."

While some pick the back seat, Sexton said Annie is like most - riding in style up front. Right now, about 90 percent of the 2000 annual requests for rides are filled. It's the ten percent that causes worry.

"Cancer treatments are life-saving and some people go every day for weeks at a time, so missing a treatment can really be a big setback," explained Robin Tate with the American Cancer Society. "We are very flexible. We work with their schedule. You don't have to drive a Bentley to help us out. If you have a reliable car, we are going to take you."

"I think they are great people doing a great service," said Smith. "Even though I am stage 4B, I am still claiming recovery."

If you would like to volunteer for the Road to Recovery program, you may call (317) 344-7812 or (800) 227-2345 or click here for more information.