Retired Navy pilot volunteers in Road to Recovery program

Retired Navy pilot David Pyle of Kent Island volunteers with the American Cancer Society’s program to provide rides for cancer patients to receive treatment.

STEVENSVILLE — Kent Island native David Pyle, a retired Navy officer and pilot, is one of a number of volunteer drivers in Queen Anne’s County who take patients to treatment with the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program.

“It’s rewarding to be part of something that helps people who need help getting to their treatment,” Pyle said. “It’s enjoyable to drive and to do something of value that supports the community. It doesn’t take a lot of time.”

The program is composed of volunteer drivers who drive cancer patients who are too sick to drive themselves and don’t have enough family and friends to take them to the numerous appointments required for cancer treatment. More volunteer drivers are needed in Talbot, Caroline and Queen Anne’s counties.

Pyle started driving after retiring from private business last year. He learned about the need for more volunteer drivers through his friendship with Elmer Parkerson, a long-time volunteer coordinator for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery on the Eastern Shore and a former state trooper who is also a cancer survivor.

“Most of the rides I’ve provided to cancer patients have been to the Cancer Center at University of Maryland Shore Health in Easton,” said Pyle whose father died of pancreatic cancer.

More volunteer drivers are needed for Road to Recovery. “A number of our drivers have had to step away due to health issues or have reached the maximum age requirement. We are very grateful for their service,” said Cathy Landolt, American Cancer Society mission delivery manager.

Volunteer drivers’ schedules are flexible; they can choose the days and times they are available. They must have a current, valid driver’s license, proof of automobile insurance and own a safe and reliable vehicle. They must be between the ages of 18-84 and be willing to have a background check and motor vehicle records check to ensure volunteer and patient safety.

To volunteer for Road to Recovery, call the American Cancer Society’s Volunteer Care Center at 800-227-2345 or go to www.cancer.org/drive.

The American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery is a national program that provided approximately 480,000 free rides to 29,000 cancer patients across the country during 2018. There are approximately 8,900 volunteer Road to Recovery drivers nationally.

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