Driving Miss Irma
East Valley Adult Resources offers an array of programs for those persons who need a little help. Assistance for Independent Living's (AIL) Cancer Patient Transportation Program provides transportation and emotional support to Mesa seniors who are homebound and undergoing cancer treatment. AIL volunteers drive cancer patients to: daily radiation treatments for a period of 6-8 weeks as well as to three-day chemotherapy treatments. Volunteers also provide clients with essential emotional, social and support throughout their cancer battles.
Volunteer Coordinator Ellen Terry said, without help from volunteers, our clients would be unable to remain in their homes.
“Our volunteers are quite special they give our clients a sense of independence and provide much needed socialization for those who are isolated.”
Cancer patient Irma Cosby, 78, says that she would not be here without her volunteers. Irma’s treatment consisted of 25 radiation appointments in a row and several chemotherapy treatments she cannot drive and her husband is also very ill.
Irma Cosby, 78 gets to ride “in style” to her cancer treatment. Volunteer JC Abbey drives Irma to her radiation and chemotherapy appointments-- they have become fast friends.
“The first time that JC took me to the doctor we were caught in a terrible rain storm,” Irma said. JC walked me all the way to the front desk and went back to park his car. When he came back in he was soaking wet, but he took a warmed blanket from one of the nurses and put it around me.”
JC Abbey has been volunteering with AIL since August. He said that, he wanted to volunteer because he felt blessed in many ways and wanted to give to give back in some small way. He has been driving Irma for several months now and they truly enjoy one another’s company.
“Irma is always so positive, despite what she has been through she is always smiling. We giggle a lot together and Irma loves to take a ride in my car with the top down. I had no idea that Volunteering with AIL would be so amazing, I feel more blessed than ever—serving the seniors and getting to know them is inspiring.”
“I can’t believe the generosity of your volunteers, they are the nicest people I have ever met, and I don’t know how I would do this (cancer treatment) without them,” Irma said.