Mesothelioma transportation assistance may not be something anyone expects to need. In the early stages when everything still seems much the same as it always has, a person with a mesothelioma diagnosis probably drives wherever they need to go. But as the illness progresses and intensive radiation and chemotherapy treatments become frequent, that may change. Driving may become difficult and even unsafe. It may be best to consider mesothelioma transportation assistance as something that will be needed and to plan for it. In fact, it may be best to have several possible plans for assistance getting to and from medical appointments. Even those with family, friends and neighbors who offer rides should have back-up plans because life happens and people cannot always follow through no matter how well-intended.
Mesothelioma Transportation Assistance from the ACS
Mesothelioma transportation assistance may be available from the American Cancer Society (ACS). The American Cancer Society offers a free transportation program called Road to Recovery. It provides transportation to and from treatment for people with all types of cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.
To receive rides from this program, patients must be traveling to an appointment related to their cancer treatment. This can include complementary therapy during cancer treatment. But it does not include follow-up appointments after treatment has been completed. Patients must be able to walk unassisted to and from the vehicle, or have an accompanying caregiver to assist. Advance notice of four business days is required; not including the date transportation is needed.
The American Cancer Society’ dedicated volunteer drivers donate their time and the use of their cars to help patients receive the treatments they need. If you or your loved one needs mesothelioma transportation assistance, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 to be matched with a volunteer.
Another Option for Mesothelioma Transportation Assistance
Mesothelioma transportation assistance may be available from a volunteer group called Drivers for Survivors if you live in the Alameda County, California towns of Fremont, Newark or Union City. Since 2012, this group has provided over 4,000 rides for cancer patients for radiation, chemotherapy and other cancer-related appointments.
Mesothelioma patients who could get assistance from this group should email [email protected] Or call 510.579.0535. A scheduler will contact you within 24 hours Monday-Friday to set up a telephone consultation with you. You can also email [email protected] for more information.
Mesothelioma Transportation Assistance For Air Travel
Mesothelioma transportation assistance may also be available for air travel. Because the options for treatment of mesothelioma are so limited at present, some mesothelioma patients may want to participate in clinical trials for new drugs undergoing evaluation. These clinical trials may be taking place at research centers and hospitals in other parts of the U.S. or even in another country. Financial obstacles to airplane tickets can be overcome with mesothelioma transportation assistance from several organizations:
- Air Care Alliance (ACA) provides listings of nonprofit organizations, nationwide, that fly patients to treatments at no charge- 800-296-1217; [email protected]; [email protected]
- Corporate Angel Network, Inc. (CAN) provides free airfare for cancer patients who can walk and travel without life-support or medical attention. corpangelnetwork.org
- National Patient Travel Center Helpline Gateway helps pay airfare as well as ground transportation for trips up to 300 miles to get to and from treatment. 1-800-296-1217; [email protected]; http://www.patienttravel.org/
- Patient Travel Foundation pays for flights and long distance ground travel. http://www.patienttravel.org
Mesothelioma Transportation Assistance within the Community
City, county and state agencies sometimes offer low-cost or free local transportation for people with medical needs. For more information on these services, contact your city, county or state transportation department, social services department and senior services department.
Churches and civic organizations also may be sources of mesothelioma transportation assistance. Your oncologist’s staff may have a list of organizations to call.
If you are having a hard time finding a ride to and from mesothelioma treatments, start by telling everyone on your medical team. Ask if your cancer clinic or treatment center is able to help with transportation. Ask if they know of any local agencies you can contact for help with mesothelioma transportation assistance.
Some cancer centers and clinics may have vouchers or money to help with the cost of gas or taxis. But, in almost every case, it is not a service they will tell you about unless you ask first. Asking is the hardest part. But often just asking can open doors – hopefully the doors of mesothelioma transportation assistance.