For many cancer patients living in rural areas in the Central Valley, getting to their treatment location can be an extra burden when trying to get healthier.
“Lack of transportation is a major barrier to cancer care,” said Jennifer Giese, health systems manager for the American Cancer Society.
According to Giese, many cancer patients don’t own a vehicle, can’t afford the extra fuel, or don’t have access to public transportation. Also some patients may be elderly and unable to drive, too ill to drive, or have no relatives or friends near them who are able to provide regular assistance with transportation.
“Even the best treatment won’t work if a patient can’t gain access due to lack of reliable, consistent transportation,” Giese said.
And thanks to a community transportation grant from the American Cancer Society that burden can be lifted for those cancer patients.
Representatives from the American Cancer Society Fresno office recently presented cCARE Connects Foundation in Fresno with a $5,000 check to help cover transportation costs for cancer patients who reside in Madera and Mariposa counties.
The grant will help fill this gap and give cancer patients residing in those two counties a fighting chance to access the care they need to beat the disease, said Giese.
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 50 percent of cancer patients in Madera and Mariposa counties need assistance with transportation to and from their cancer treatment appointments at cCARE Cancer Center in Fresno.
“cCARE Connects Foundation and cCARE, Inc. value our relationship with the American Cancer Society,” said Marvell French, president of cCARE Connects Foundation. “We are gratefully appreciative of this much needed transportation grant for our patients based in Madera and Mariposa counties.”
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 600 Madera County residents, and an estimated 120 Mariposa County residents, will learn they have cancer this year, and getting to their scheduled treatment appointments could be their greatest concern.
According to Donna Gavello, mission program manager, American Cancer Society, one cancer patient requiring radiation therapy could need between 20 and 30 trips to treatment over the course of six weeks. A patient receiving chemotherapy may need weekly treatment for up to a year.