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Monroe County Man Needs Rides to Chemo, Lack of Volunteer Drivers an Issue


MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A Monroe County man with stage four cancer is running out of time… and hope.

He can’t find transportation to his chemo appointments, and reached out to the American Cancer Society. But the organization couldn’t help, due to a lack of volunteers.

Next, he turned to Eyewitness News reporter Brianna Strunk.

Michael Brant’s stage four colon cancer has spread to his liver. Doctors say he has about six months left to live.

“Soon as I wake up it’s like that movie ‘Groundhog Day’. It’s the same thing over and over and over,” he explains.

The 60-year-old is fighting back the only way he can; with chemo. “It keeps me alive,” he adds.

Michael drove himself to his chemotherapy appointments, but about three months ago, the engine in his truck blew. With everything going on, he can’t afford to fix it.

He turned to the American Cancer Society, which runs a program where volunteers drive people to and from treatment. Yet, Michael says the organization couldn’t arrange transportation and he missed several appointments. He adds, “I kind of lost faith in them.”

Jennifer Washney works with the American Cancer Society. She says volunteer drivers are desperately needed across the region.

“Because if we have more volunteers, we can help more patients like Michael,” explains Jennifer Washney, program manager, American Cancer Society.

Michael’s weekly appointments are in Easton, about 50-miles from home. Washney says there are even less drivers available for long distance, cross-county rides.

She says, “for those individuals who have the time and the caring personality and like to drive, this is a great opportunity for them.”

After relentless calls and months on the waiting list, Michael has learned a volunteer will now drive him on Friday.

“Got in contact with you, and all of a sudden it seems like it got straightened out,” he says.

He’s not sure what tomorrow will bring.

But one thing is certain. Michael continues to fight.

To become a volunteer driver, you must:
— Be between the ages of 18 and 84,
— Have a clear background and good driving record,
— Hold a current driver’s license,
— Have proof of insurance,
— And have a reliable vehicle, lthough the American Cancer Society does have some vehicles for volunteers to use.

As for Michael, he is trying to find treatment closer to home, and the American Cancer Society is working to find him permanent rides.

Click here for more information about the ‘Road to Recovery’ program

Click here to learn about becoming a volunteer driver

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Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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