Breast cancer survivor volunteers to drive Fort Lauderdale cancer patients to treatment

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A two-time breast cancer survivor is helping cancer patients in Fort Lauderdale with the help of a local organization.

Rhona Hernandez is driving for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program, taking patients to and from their cancer treatment appointments.

“I started to drive because I used to drive myself. I just didn’t want to have anybody go through that same feeling,” said Hernandez.

She said being part of the program is more than just volunteer work.

“You can sit with somebody who has been through it and tell them, ‘I’ve been there with you’ and understand what they’re going through,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez said she realized through her own journey with the disease just how important the Road to Recovery program is.

That is when the two-time breast cancer survivor knew she wanted to be a part of the program.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anybody because that day that you go to the doctor and you hear those three words, ‘It is cancer’ or ‘You have cancer,’ it’s like your life was just taken away from you,” said Hernandez.

President and CEO of AutoNation Cheryl Miller said the company has stepped up to support the program in multiple ways.

“Cancer is our philanthropic focus. We’ve raised over 20 million to help wipe out cancer,” said Miller. “That’s our goal, and this is an element of that, so getting people to their treatments is critically important.”

In 2017, AutoNation donated a van for volunteers to use as a shuttle.

Every year the company donates around $5,000 to the American Cancer Society.

“One of the biggest things that we’ve found is many cancer patients don’t have transportation, so 3.5 million people don’t have adequate transportation,” said Miller. “Our goal was to donate the van. We did that, and then we maintain the van. You can give a van, but you also have to give maintenance.”

Volunteers said the van is an incredible resource.

Hernandez said she hopes people remember the importance of supporting those fighting cancer beyond breast cancer awareness month.

“It’s not a month for us,” said Hernandez. “We live it daily. We live cancer daily.”

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