Cancer drivers suspends service to protect volunteers and patients from COVID-19

A temporary shut down comes into effect Tuesday

George McAffer, Larry Coleman and George Garrett with the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society recently attended the organizations annual general meeting, where Coleman was recognized for his outstanding contributions. As of Tuesday the free service will be suspended until further notice to help contain the spread of COVID-19. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society will suspend its services starting 5 p.m. Tuesday, the organization has announced.

“On the advice of the BC Cancer Agency we are suspending our free transportation service to cancer patients effective Tuesday, March 17,” said George Garrett, a volunteer driver.

Cancer drivers will monitor the situation with the hope of returning to normal transportation services as soon as reasonably possible, according to Bob Smith, president of the organization.

“This decision was taken in light of evolving events around COVID-19, to protect the health of our patients and volunteers,”he said.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge closes doors on public buildings in COVID-19 combat

The announcement comes after several facilities in Ridge Meadows made the decision to close, but that didn’t make this one any easier, Garrett noted.

“Our volunteer drivers and dispatchers form a very close bond with cancer patients,” he elaborated.

One patient has used the service 100 times.

“In 2019, we drove 973 different patients. One of our outstanding drivers is Larry Coleman, also a director, who was honoured last Saturday, March 7 at our fourth annual general meeting in Cloverdale,” Garrett said.

Coleman was presented with an award for his outstanding contribution.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

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