Volunteer drivers sought for rideshare program for cancer patients
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Claudia Sedore remembers driving herself to doctor appointments and treatments while her husband was deployed in Iraq.
She had had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer and drove herself to and from her appointments.
“I couldn’t get a driver, I had no help. Jack was in Iraq and my daughter was 12. I wasn’t allowed to drive, I was in pain. So I want to help the people who have no other options.”
In an effort to help cancer patients in need, Sedore has been setting up volunteer drivers to ensure that local cancer patients in need, from Lampasas to Kempner, Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights, and Nolanville have a safe, reliable ride to their appointments.
Initially she had started with breast cancer patients, said she but branched out to help those being treated for other types of cancer.
“Everybody that has cancer, goes through a horrible time. I don’t want concentrate on breast cancer. That is one pocket.”
Sedore stresses that the rideshare program is for patients in need, who can’t drive themselves.
“They can’t drive because they’re older, they can’t drive because they’re so sick, or they can’t drive because they don’t own a vehicle.
“This is my plan in the future, I want to even help with groceries ore medicine. But it does need to be people who need the help.
Sedore now has a need for volunteer drivers who are willing and able to transport patients to and from appointments, which are usually in either Killeen or Temple.
Drivers must have a clean driving record and no DUIs, and use their own vehicles.
Sedore will provide gas money and in some cases, when funds are available and depending on the situation, compensation to the drivers for their time. Appointment times and locations can vary from patient to patient.
She presently has a thrift store set up in the former location of Michele’s Floral & Gifts, with proceeds going toward funding the rideshare program. She also welcomes donations for the drivers.
During BraFest, held in October, Sedore said the idea for ridesharing came about after talking to Dr. Karen Harrison, who runs the Cove House Free Clinic not far from the store.
“I had asked her if they need donations for women to get mammograms, but she said that was covered,” Sedore said. “But they have a lot of patients that are not able to drive out of health reasons, or age. Some cannot afford a car.”
Renate Reaves is one of Sedore’s newest volunteer drivers.
Reaves spent the day with one patient recently, picking her up at her home at 6:30 a.m., getting her to Temple in time for her blood work in the lab at 7:30 a.m., followed by two more appointments after that, one at Metroplex Hospital and the other at the Baylor Scott & White Hemingway Building in Killeen.
“God bless her,” Reaves said of the patient, “she was at one clinic for two-and-a-half hours.”
For more information about becoming a volunteer driver, stop by to speak with Sedore at Décor & More, located at 817 E. Bus. 190, or call (254) 220-1767.