Amarillo area cancer patients get free rides to treatment facilities

Heart of the High Plains

AMARILLO Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — More than 3,000 rides have been provided free of cost to cancer patients in our area. This is because of a program called ChemoCars that is currently only being used in two places in the United States.

ChemoCars partnered with Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation in June of last year. The idea was to help cancer patients cut cost and have one less thing to worry about.

“This is so simple but it’s so easy and so necessary,” Ryan Parnell, Director of Operations and Special Programs, stated.

Some patients are often too tired to drive when they are doing chemo treatments but HCHF said they do not want anyone to miss treatments because they can not get a ride.

“A family member needs to take off work and it’s a hardship on them that’s what ChemoCars is for,” Parnell said.

The service also helps to keep the patient’s privacy, something Parnell, said is a top priority.

“Patient privacy is key and so what’s unique about ChemoCars and this program is the driver has no idea that the person who is taking them to or from treatment is a cancer patient unless the patient lets them know that,” Parnell explained.

The service is simple to use. The patient first dials the number and let ChemoCars do the rest.

“The operator on the other end of the line will register the patient through the back end of uber or Lyft and within 10 to 15 minutes a car will be at their drive to pick them up and take them to their treatment,” Parnell said.

On average ChemoCars gives about 300 rides to patients every month.

“We’re fulfilling a need for people that we don’t even know who they are and that’s really kind of cool,” Parnell said.

ChemoCars is also unique in the sense that it will only give rides to and from verified treatment facilities, this way no one can abuse the service.

The number to contact ChemoCars and request a ride is 704-981-2010.

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