Lincoln woman recognized nationally by American Cancer Society
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -A Lincoln woman is being recognized nationally for her work helping cancer patients.
For Betty Robinson, helping patients on the road to recovery is personal. On Monday she was surprised with the Patient Support Volunteer Award for Excellence from the American Cancer Society.
It started 17 years ago when Betty moved out to California to help take care of her 7-year-old grandaughter who had just been diagnosed with brain cancer. For eight months Betty would drive Jessie into Lose Angeles for treatment, almost daily.
After Jessie Died, Betty wanted to carry on her legacy by helping people fighting cancer, right here in the Capital City.
“If we can help just one patient get through cancer, its one less thing they have to worry about,” said Betty. “It’s been a real blessing to me.”
After Jessie died in June of 2004, Betty felt like she had to do something. Road to Recovery, a program that takes cancer patients to and from treatments at no cost, was the direction she took.
“The fact that I’ve been through it not as a cancer patient, but as a caregiver myself and a driver,” said Betty. “It makes it easier to talk to them. I always try to make sure they know I’ve gone through it to.”
She’s been hitting the streets every week since. In total, she’s given 1,400 one-way rides to treatments.
“If they don’t have a ride they can’t get to their treatments,” said Betty. “If they can’t get the treatments, then they can’t kick cancer, and we’re there to help them kick cancer.”
Betty was also part of the reason Lincoln’s Road to Recovery Program was the first in the country back online after pausing in the pandemic.
“Programs like Road to Recovery exist because of volunteers like Betty,” said Lisa McClung, ROD Volunteer. “A lot of the services we provide are moved forward by volunteers. The volunteers are making a difference in the lives of cancer patients.”
For Betty, it’s not about the national recognition, it’s about remembering Jessie in the best way she knows how.
“She’s always on the back of my mind, whether I’m driving a patient or not, even after 17 years now,” said Betty. “It’s hard. It’s a pain that doesn’t go away, but it eases. And through this, I think it’s helped us.”
Betty said when rides paused during the pandemic, it felt like her life stopped. She encourages everybody to consider becoming a Road to Recovery Driver.
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